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Stimulation of tumor growth in adult rats in vivo during an acute fast.

Sauer LA, et al. Cancer Res. 1986.


These experiments investigate an increase in tumor growth that occurs in adult rats in vivo during an acute fast. The effects of feeding, fasting, and underfeeding on the growth of Morris hepatomas 5123C and 7288CTC in Buffalo rats and of Walker carcinoma 256 and Jensen sarcoma in Sprague-Dawley rats were studied. Animals were matched for tumor size and growth during a period of ad libitum feeding preceding the fasting or underfeeding. Tumor growth was documented by increased size and incorporation of [methyl-3H]thymidine into tumor DNA. Fasting increased the rate of growth of the tumors 3 to 4 times over that measured in fed rats. This effect began during the first day of fasting and ended abruptly on refeeding. After refeeding tumor growth slowed to the rate in fed rats. Tumors from fed or fasted rats were not different in cellularity or dry weight/g wet weight. A positive growth response in the tumor required lipolysis and ketosis in the host. No stimulation was observed during an acute fast in either immature rats or in mature rats whose weights had been reduced by underfeeding. These animals have small fat stores and show no increase in arterial blood free fatty acid or ketone body concentrations during an acute fast. Finally, underfeeding of adult rats raised the blood concentrations of these nutrients to values that were intermediate between those in fasted and fed rats. Tumor growth rates in these rats were intermediate between those in fasted and fed rats. The results support the proposal that an increase in availability of free fatty acids and/or ketone bodies is the stimulus that increases the rate of tumor growth during an acute fast.


3708579 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

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