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Keywords:

  • cancer cachexia;
  • p70s6k;
  • mice;
  • indomethacin;
  • ibuprofen;
  • ubiquitin-conjugated proteins;
  • colon-26 adenocarcinoma;
  • muscle wasting;
  • western blotting

Abstract

Skeletal muscle wasting is a prominent feature of cancer cachexia and involves decreased muscle protein synthesis and increased activity of the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway of protein degradation. We report that both indomethacin and ibuprofen improved body weight and weight of the gastrocnemius muscle in tumor-bearing mice. Ibuprofen increased the soluble protein content of the muscle without affecting muscle levels of phosphorylated p70 S6 kinase, a ribosomal kinase involved in protein synthesis. Paradoxically, indomethacin increased levels of ubiquitin-conjugated proteins. Further study is needed to understand the mechanism of action by which indomethacin and ibuprofen preserve body weight and muscle mass in the tumor-bearing mice. The data suggest that ibuprofen may have beneficial effects in the treatment of cancer cachexia. © 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Res Nurs Health 27:174–184, 2004