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Open AccessArticle

Human Cachexia Induces Changes in Mitochondria, Autophagy and Apoptosis in the Skeletal Muscle

1
Cancer Metabolism Research Group, Department of Cell and Tissue Biology, Institute of Biomedical Sciences, University of São Paulo, 05508-900 São Paulo, Brazil
2
Department of Physiology & Biophysics, Institute of Biomedical Sciences, University of São Paulo, 05508-900 São Paulo, Brazil
3
Department of Clinical Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, University of São Paulo, 01246-903 São Paulo, Brazil
4
Department of Biological Adaptation and Aging, B2A (CNRS UMR 8256-INSERM ERL U1164-UPMC P6), Sorbonne University, 75005 Paris, France
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Cancers 2019, 11(9), 1264; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11091264
Received: 22 February 2019 / Revised: 2 April 2019 / Accepted: 4 April 2019 / Published: 28 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cancer Cachexia)
Cachexia is a wasting syndrome characterized by the continuous loss of skeletal muscle mass due to imbalance between protein synthesis and degradation, which is related with poor prognosis and compromised quality of life. Dysfunctional mitochondria are associated with lower muscle strength and muscle atrophy in cancer patients, yet poorly described in human cachexia. We herein investigated mitochondrial morphology, autophagy and apoptosis in the skeletal muscle of patients with gastrointestinal cancer-associated cachexia (CC), as compared with a weight-stable cancer group (WSC). CC showed prominent weight loss and increased circulating levels of serum C-reactive protein, lower body mass index and decreased circulating hemoglobin, when compared to WSC. Electron microscopy analysis revealed an increase in intermyofibrillar mitochondrial area in CC, as compared to WSC. Relative gene expression of Fission 1, a protein related to mitochondrial fission, was increased in CC, as compared to WSC. LC3 II, autophagy-related (ATG) 5 and 7 essential proteins for autophagosome formation, presented higher content in the cachectic group. Protein levels of phosphorylated p53 (Ser46), activated caspase 8 (Asp384) and 9 (Asp315) were also increased in the skeletal muscle of CC. Overall, our results demonstrate that human cancer-associated cachexia leads to exacerbated muscle-stress response that may culminate in muscle loss, which is in part due to disruption of mitochondrial morphology, dysfunctional autophagy and increased apoptosis. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report showing quantitative morphological alterations in skeletal muscle mitochondria in cachectic patients. View Full-Text
Keywords: cancer cachexia; skeletal muscle; mitochondria; autophagy; apoptosis cancer cachexia; skeletal muscle; mitochondria; autophagy; apoptosis
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de Castro, G.S.; Simoes, E.; Lima, J.D.; Ortiz-Silva, M.; Festuccia, W.T.; Tokeshi, F.; Alcântara, P.S.; Otoch, J.P.; Coletti, D.; Seelaender, M. Human Cachexia Induces Changes in Mitochondria, Autophagy and Apoptosis in the Skeletal Muscle. Cancers 2019, 11, 1264.

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