Journal of Cachexia, Sarcopenia and Muscle (JCSM) - Abstract

 Volume 2, Online First  1 December 2011

The role of insulin resistance in the development of muscle wasting during cancer cachexia

Mary A. Honors, Kimberly P. Kinzig

Cachexia involves unintentional body weight loss including diminished muscle and adipose tissue mass and is associated with an underlying disease. Systemic overexpression of IL-6 accelerates cachexia in the ApcMin/+ mouse, but does not induce wasting in control C57BL/6 mice. With many chronic diseases, chronic inflammation and metabolic dysfunction can be improved with moderate exercise. A direct effect of regular moderate exercise on the prevention of IL-6-induced cachexia in the ApcMin/+ mouse has not been investigated. The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of exercise on the development of cachexia in the ApcMin/+ mouse.
Mice were randomly assigned to moderate treadmill exercise (18 m/min, 1 h, 6 days/week, 5% grade) or cage control (CC) groups from 6 to 14 weeks of age. At 12 weeks of age, mice were electroporated with either IL-6-containing or control plasmid into the quadriceps muscle. Mice were killed after 2 weeks of systemic IL-6 overexpression or control treatment.
IL-6 overexpression induced an 8% loss in body weight in CC mice, which was significantly attenuated by exercise. IL-6 overexpression in CC mice increased fasting insulin and triglyceride levels, which were normalized by exercise, and associated with increased oxidative capacity, an induction of AKT signaling, and a repression of AMPK signaling in muscle. These exercise-induced changes occurred despite elevated inflammatory signaling in skeletal muscle.
We conclude that moderate-intensity exercise can attenuate IL-6-dependent cachexia in ApcMin/+ mice, independent of changes in IL-6 concentration and muscle inflammatory signaling. The exercise effect was associated with improved insulin sensitivity and improved energy status in the muscle.