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Cancer Res. 1992 Aug 1;52(15):4113-6.

Interleukin 6 reduces lipoprotein lipase activity in adipose tissue of mice in vivo and in 3T3-L1 adipocytes: a possible role for interleukin 6 in cancer cachexia.

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  • 1Laboratory of Cellular and Developmental Biology, National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Disease, NIH, Bethesda, Maryland 20892.


To investigate whether interleukin 6 (IL-6) might be a potential mediator of the depleted fat reserves observed in malignancy-associated cachexia, we measured lipoprotein lipase (LPL) activity in adipose tissue of mice after administration of IL-6 or tumor necrosis factor and in cultured adipocytes after addition of these cytokines. Injection of IL-6 i.p. reduced adipose tissue LPL activity by 53% within 4.5 to 5.5 h. Injection of tumor necrosis factor elevated serum IL-6 levels and reduced adipose tissue LPL activity by 70%. Both human and murine IL-6 reduced heparin-releasable LPL activity in 3T3-L1 adipocytes in a dose-dependent manner; half-maximal inhibition of LPL activity was achieved with 5000 hybridoma growth factor units/ml. Thus, IL-6 reduces adipose LPL activity and may contribute to the loss of body fat stores associated with some cases of cancer cachexia. Since tumor necrosis factor increases circulating IL-6, some of its effects may be mediated or potentiated by IL-6.

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