Inhibition of xanthine oxidase reduces wasting and improves outcome in a rat model of cancer cachexia

Jochen Springer, Anika Tschirner, Kai Hartman, Sandra Palus, Eva K. Wirth, Silvia Busquets Ruis, Nadine Möller, Stephan Von Haehling, Josep M. Argiles, Josef Köhrle, Volker Adams, Stefan D. Anker, Wolfram Doehner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Cachexia is a common co-morbidity in cancer occurring in up to 80% of patients depending on the type of cancer. Uric acid (UA), the end-product of the purine metabolism, is elevated in cachexia due to tissue wasting and upregulated xanthine oxidase (XO) activity. High serum UA levels indicate increased XO-dependent production of oxygen free radicals (reactive oxygen species; ROS) and correlate with metabolic illness and poor survival. We hypothesized that XO-inhibition might reduce inflammatory signals accounting for tissue wasting and improve survival in experimental cancer cachexia. Animals were inoculated intraperitoneally with AH-130 hepatoma cells and treated with two XO-inhibitors: allopurinol [Allo, low (LD) and high dose (HD) 4 and 40 mg/kg/d] and its more effective active metabolite oxypurinol (Oxy, 4 and 40 mg/kg/d) or placebo for 15 days. Weight loss and tissue wasting of both fat and lean tissue (assessed by NMR-scanning) was reduced by both LD and HD Allo and LD-Oxy, but not by HD-Oxy. A robust induction of XO-activity for generation of reactive oxygen species was seen in the placebo group (assessed by electron paramagnetic spectroscopy), which was reduced by XO-inhibition. Increased ROS induced cytokine signaling, proteolytic activity and tissue degradation were all attenuated by XO inhibition. Survival was significantly and dose dependently improved. Food intake and spontaneous locomotor activity were higher, indicating a higher quality of life. Inhibition of XO can reduce tissue wasting and improve survival in cancer cachexia and clearly clinical studies are needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2187-2196
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Cancer
Volume131
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2012

Keywords

  • cancer cachexia
  • oxidative stress
  • skeletal muscle
  • survival
  • xanthine oxidase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology

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    Springer, J., Tschirner, A., Hartman, K., Palus, S., Wirth, E. K., Ruis, S. B., Möller, N., Von Haehling, S., Argiles, J. M., Köhrle, J., Adams, V., Anker, S. D., & Doehner, W. (2012). Inhibition of xanthine oxidase reduces wasting and improves outcome in a rat model of cancer cachexia. International Journal of Cancer, 131(9), 2187-2196. https://doi.org/10.1002/ijc.27494