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Cancer Res. 1997 Jan 1;57(1):94-9.

Prevention of adenocarcinoma colon 26-induced cachexia by interleukin 10 gene transfer.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology, Kanazawa University, Japan.


A s.c. injection of a mouse colon adenocarcinoma cell line, colon 26 clone 20, induced cachexia, as evidenced by progressive weight loss and severe hypoglycemia. Several lines of evidence indicate that a pro-inflammatory cytokine, interleukin 6 (IL-6), plays a major role, albeit partially, in the establishment of cachexia in this model. Because IL-10 can potentially inhibit the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines including IL-6, we evaluated the effects of IL-10 gene transfer on the establishment of cachexia. IL-6 transcript was detected at tumor sites of mice inoculated with parental or control vector transfectant cells, and serum IL-6 levels were markedly increased in these mice. The injection of parental cells into IL-6-deficient mice induced cachexia with elevated serum IL-6 levels comparable to wild-type mice, indicating that tumor cells are a major source of IL-6. The inoculation of IL-10-transfectant cells kept IL-10 mRNA expression at tumor sites and induced the elevation in serum IL-10 levels without affecting the growth rates of colon 26 cells both in vitro and in vivo. However, the implantation with IL-10-transfectant cells reduced the expression of IL-6 mRNA at the tumor sites and the elevation in serum IL-6 levels. Concomitantly, mice inoculated with IL-10-transfectant cells did not exhibit progressive weight loss, a reduction in food intake, or severe hypoglycemia, which was observed in mice inoculated with parental or control vector-transfectant cells. Collectively, these results suggest that IL-10 gene transfer prevented the occurrence of cachexia with a concomitant inhibition of IL-6 production at the tumor sites.

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