The abnormalities of lipid metabolism observed in cancer cachexia may be induced by a lipid-mobilizing factor produced by adenocarcinomas. The specific molecules and metabolic pathways that mediate the actions of lipid-mobilizing factor are not known. The mitochondrial uncoupling proteins-1, -2 and -3 are suggested to play essential roles in energy dissipation and disposal of excess lipid. Here, we studied the effects of lipid-mobilizing factor on the expression of uncoupling proteins-1, -2 and -3 in normal mice. Lipid-mobilizing factor isolated from the urine of cancer patients was injected intravenously into mice over a 52-h period, while vehicle was similarly given to controls. Lipid-mobilizing factor caused significant reductions in body weight (-10%, P=0.03) and fat mass (-20%, P<0.01) accompanied by a marked decrease in plasma leptin (-59%, P<0.01) and heavy lipid deposition in the liver. In brown adipose tissue, uncoupling protein-1 mRNA levels were elevated in lipid-mobilizing factor-treated mice (+96%, P<0.01), as were uncoupling proteins-2 and -3 (+57% and +37%, both P<0.05). Lipid-mobilizing factor increased uncoupling protein-2 mRNA in both skeletal muscle (+146%, P<0.05) and liver (+142%, P=0.03). The protein levels of uncoupling protein-1 in brown adipose tissue and uncoupling protein-2 in liver were also increased with lipid-mobilizing factor administration (+49% and +67%, both P=0.02). Upregulation by lipid-mobilizing factor of uncoupling proteins-1, -2 and -3 in brown adipose tissue, and of uncoupling protein-2 in skeletal muscle and liver, suggests that these uncoupling proteins may serve to utilize excess lipid mobilized during fat catabolism in cancer cachexia.
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- lipid-mobilizing factor
- uncoupling proteins
- cancer cachexia