Interleukin-1β system in anorectic catabolic tumor-bearing rats

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Purpose of review

The onset of cancer anorexia and the accompanying neurological symptoms and signs involve the general influence of cytokines on the brain. Using methylcholanthrene to induce tumors in Fischer 344 rats, we measured various specific components of the cytokine-induced anorectic reaction, including: (1) IL-1β system components (ligand, signaling receptor, receptor accessory proteins, and receptor antagonist); (2) TNF-α; (3) TGF-β1; and (4) IFN-γ in the tumor tissue, the liver and the brain.

Recent findings

The data show that IL-1β, TNF-α and IFN-γ messenger RNA were detected in the tumor tissue of anorectic tumor-bearing rats. In brain regions, anorexia is associated with the upregulation of IL-1β and its receptor mRNA. All other mRNA remained unchanged in the brain regions examined.


This suggests that IL-1β and its receptor may play a significant role in this model of cancer-associated anorexia. In vivo, the characterization of cytokine components in the brain may provide data for potential pharmacological interventions to ameliorate the anorexia of disease.

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