Cachexia, a paraneoplastic syndrome markedly associated with worsened prognosis in cancer patients, provokes profound wasting of both lean and adipose mass in an association with a state of metabolic "chaos". The white adipose tissue responds to cachexia with marked local inflammation and may be thus a relevant contributor to systemic inflammation. To address this hypothesis we examined the correlation between tissue expression of adipokines and plasma concentration in cachectic and stable weight patients with or without cancer. Adiponectin and liver-derived CRP concentration were significantly higher in the cachectic groups when compared with stable weight patients (P<0.01). The concentration of plasma IL-6 was higher (11.4-fold) in the cancer cachectic group when compared with weight-stable controls, and presented a significant correlation with the presence of cancer (P<0.001). A marked increase (5-fold) in IL-6 as a result of the interaction between the presence of cachexia and the presence of tumour was observed in the subcutaneous tissue of the patients, yet not in the visceral depot. Plasma adiponectin levels were higher in cachectic cancer patients, compared with stable weight cancer patients individually matched by age, sex, and BMI, and the subcutaneous depot was found to be the main contributing tissue, rather than the visceral pad. Based on the results we concluded that the subcutaneous adipose tissue is associated with plasma changes that may function as markers of cachexia.
Background and aimsCachexia is a syndrome characterized by marked involuntary loss of body weight. Recently, adipose tissue (AT) wasting has been shown to occur before the appearance of other classical cachexia markers. We investigated the composition and rearrangement of the extracellular matrix, adipocyte morphology and inflammation in the subcutaneous AT (scAT) pad of gastrointestinal cancer patients.MethodsSurgical biopsies for scAT were obtained from gastrointestinal cancer patients, who were signed up into the following groups: cancer cachexia (CC, n = 11), weight‐stable cancer (WSC, n = 9) and weight‐stable control (non‐cancer) (control, n = 7). The stable weight groups were considered as those with no important weight change during the last year and body mass index <25 kg/m2. Subcutaneous AT fibrosis was quantified and characterized by quantitative PCR, histological analysis and immunohistochemistry.ResultsThe degree of fibrosis and the distribution and collagen types (I and III) were different in WSC and CC patients. CC patients showed more pronounced fibrosis in comparison with WSC. Infiltrating macrophages surrounding adipocytes and CD3 Ly were found in the fibrotic areas of scAT. Subcutaneous AT fibrotic areas demonstrated increased monocyte chemotactic protein 1 (MCP‐1) and Cluster of Differentiation (CD)68 gene expression in cancer patients.ConclusionsOur data indicate architectural modification consisting of fibrosis and inflammatory cell infiltration in scAT as induced by cachexia in gastrointestinal cancer patients. The latter was characterized by the presence of macrophages and lymphocytes, more evident in the fibrotic areas. In addition, increased MCP‐1 and CD68 gene expression in scAT from cancer patients may indicate an important role of these markers in the early phases of cancer.
Cachexia affects about 80% of gastrointestinal cancer patients. This multifactorial syndrome resulting in involuntary and continuous weight loss is accompanied by systemic inflammation and immune cell infiltration in various tissues. Understanding the interactions among tumor, immune cells, and peripheral tissues could help attenuating systemic inflammation. Therefore, we investigated inflammation in the subcutaneous adipose tissue and in the tumor, in weight stable and cachectic cancer patients with same diagnosis, in order to establish correlations between tumor microenvironment and secretory pattern with adipose tissue and systemic inflammation. Infiltrating monocyte phenotypes of subcutaneous and tumor vascular-stromal fraction were identified by flow cytometry. Gene and protein expression of inflammatory and chemotactic factors was measured with qRT-PCR and Multiplex Magpix® system, respectively. Subcutaneous vascular-stromal fraction exhibited no differences in regard to macrophage subtypes, while in the tumor, the percentage of M2 macrophages was decreased in the cachectic patients, in comparison to weight-stable counterparts. CCL3, CCL4, and IL-1β expression was higher in the adipose tissue and tumor tissue in the cachectic group. In both tissues, chemotactic factors were positively correlated with IL-1β. Furthermore, positive correlations were found for the content of chemoattractants and cytokines in the tumor and adipose tissue. The results strongly suggest that the crosstalk between the tumor and peripheral tissues is more pronounced in cachectic patients, compared to weight-stable patients with the same tumor diagnosis.
Cancer cachexia, of which the most notable symptom is severe and rapid weight loss, is present in the majority of patients with advanced cancer. Inflammatory mediators play an important role in the development of cachexia, envisaged as a chronic inflammatory syndrome. The white adipose tissue (WAT) is one of the first compartments affected in cancer cachexia and suffers a high rate of lipolysis. It secretes several cytokines capable of directly regulating intermediate metabolism. A common pathway in the regulation of the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines in WAT is the activation of the nuclear transcription factor kappa-B (NF-κB). We have examined the gene expression of the subunits NF-κBp65 and NF-κBp50, as well as NF-κBp65 and NF-κBp50 binding, the gene expression of pro-inflammatory mediators under NF-κB control (IL-1β, IL-6, INF-γ, TNF-α, MCP-1), and its inhibitory protein, nuclear factor of kappa light polypeptide gene enhancer in B-cells inhibitor, alpha (IκB-α). The observational study involved 35 patients (control group, n = 12 and cancer group, n = 23, further divided into cachectic and non-cachectic). NF-κBp65 and its target genes expression (TNF-α, IL-1β, MCP-1 and IκB-α) were significantly higher in cachectic cancer patients. Moreover, NF-κBp65 gene expression correlated positively with the expression of its target genes. The results strongly suggest that the NF-κB pathway plays a role in the promotion of WAT inflammation during cachexia.
BackgroundCachexia is a multifactorial and multiorgan syndrome associated with cancer and other chronic diseases and characterized by severe involuntary body weight loss, disrupted metabolism, inflammation, anorexia, fatigue, and diminished quality of life. This syndrome affects around 50% of patients with colon cancer and is directly responsible for the death of at least 20% of all cancer patients. Systemic inflammation has been recently proposed to underline most of cachexia‐related symptoms. Nevertheless, the exact mechanisms leading to the initiation of systemic inflammation have not yet been unveiled, as patients bearing the same tumour and disease stage may or may not present cachexia. We hypothesize a role for gut barrier disruption, which may elicit persistent immune activation in the host. To address this hypothesis, we analysed the healthy colon tissue, adjacent to the tumour.MethodsBlood and rectosigmoid colon samples (20 cm distal to tumour margin) obtained during surgery, from cachectic (CC = 25) or weight stable (WSC = 20) colon cancer patients, who signed the informed consent form, were submitted to morphological (light microscopy), immunological (immunohistochemistry and flow cytometry), and molecular (quantification of inflammatory factors by Luminex® xMAP) analyses.ResultsThere was no statistical difference in gender and age between groups. The content of plasma interleukin 6 (IL‐6) and IL‐8 was augmented in cachectic patients relative to those with stable weight (P = 0.047 and P = 0.009, respectively). The number of lymphocytic aggregates/field in the gut mucosa was higher in CC than in WSC (P = 0.019), in addition to those of the lamina propria (LP) eosinophils (P < 0.001) and fibroblasts (P < 0.001). The area occupied by goblet cells in the colon mucosa was decreased in CC (P = 0.016). The M1M2 macrophages percentage was increased in the colon of CC, in relation to WSC (P = 0.042). Protein expression of IL‐7, IL‐13, and transforming growth factor beta 3 in the colon was significantly increased in CC, compared with WSC (P = 0.02, P = 0.048, and P = 0.048, respectively), and a trend towards a higher content of granulocyte‐colony stimulating factor in CC was also observed (P = 0.061). The results suggest an increased recruitment of immune cells to the colonic mucosa in CC, as compared with WSC, in a fashion that resembles repair response following injury, with higher tissue content of IL‐13 and transforming growth factor beta 3.ConclusionsThe changes in the intestinal mucosa cellularity, along with modified cytokine expression in cachexia, indicate that gut barrier alterations are associated with the syndrome.
Cancer cachexia affects about 80% of advanced cancer patients, it is linked to poor prognosis and to date, there is no efficient treatment or cure. The syndrome leads to progressive involuntary loss of muscle and fat mass induced by systemic inflammatory processes. The role of the white adipose tissue (WAT) in the onset and manifestation of cancer cachexia gained importance during the last decade. WAT wasting is not only characterized by increased lipolysis and release of free fatty acids (FFA), but in addition, owing to its high capacity to produce a variety of inflammatory factors. The aim of this study was to characterize plasma lipid profile of cachectic patients and to correlate the FA composition with circulating inflammatory markers; finally, we sought to establish whether the fatty acids released by adipocytes trigger and/or contribute to local and systemic inflammation in cachexia. The study selected 65 patients further divided into 3 groups: control (N); weight stable cancer (WSC); and cachectic cancer (CC). The plasma FA profile was significantly different among the groups and was positively correlated with pro-inflammatory cytokines expression in the CC patients. Therefore, we propose that saturated to unsaturated FFA ratio may serve as a means of detecting cachexia.
Madelung disease or multiple symmetric lipomatosis (MSL) is a rare entity among the overgrowth syndromes. It is characterized by painless non-encapsulated and symmetric fatty deposits in the neck, torso, mammary, and abdominal areas, and in the upper and lower limbs. The etiology of the disease is still unknown. Chronic alcohol consumption may play a role in adipocyte hyperplasia in genetically susceptible individuals. Besides the overgrowth of adipose tissue, patients with MSL present features of metabolic syndrome. Patients seek medical attention usually for esthetic reasons. We present the case of a middle-aged man who sought the outpatient clinic complaining of bulging masses in the posterior upper part of the thorax, the occipital area, and the neck. The masses grew over a period of 2 years. The physical examination and imaging study revealed the presence of symmetric lipomatosis. A two-step surgical treatment was undertaken for the excision of the lipomatous tissue. The postoperative outcome was uneventful with satisfactory esthetic results.
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