Solid Ehrlich carcinoma reproduces functional and biological characteristics of cancer cachexia

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Abstract

Aims:

Well-characterized animal tumor models of cancer cachexia are warranted to elucidate underlying mechanisms and provide a better approach to the human scenario. We aimed to investigate whether solid Ehrlich carcinoma reproduces clinical, functional and biological conditions of tumor-induced cachexia in mice.

Methods:

Eight-week old female Swiss mice were subcutaneously inoculated with Ehrlich tumor cells (tumor-bearing, TB group) or vehicle (sham) into the right flank and monitored for 28 days. Tumor histopathological features and tumor–host interaction, including tissue weight, muscle structure, strength and biochemical parameters were carried out.

Key findings:

Tumor growth curve demonstrated a linear pattern with no difference in final carcass weight between groups. A well-defined capsule composed by connective tissue infiltrated by inflammatory and neoplastic cells surrounded the tumors. The TB group had reduced handgrip strength, aside from lower cross sectional area (CSA) and critically reduced parametrial fat pads. Plasma parameters of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), creatine kinase (CK) and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) were higher in the TB group, suggesting predominance of catabolic and pro-inflammatory activities. Conversely, food intake and tissue weight did not differ between groups.

Significance:

Our data elucidated that the solid Ehrlich tumor model is feasible and effective in reproducing some of the relevant issues experienced by cancer patients with cachexia. The solid Ehrlich carcinoma emerges as an alternative tool against more aggressive cancer cachexia models during preclinical research.

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