New insights on the regulation of cancer cachexia by N-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids

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Cancer cachexia is a multifactorial syndrome that develops during malignant tumor growth. Changes in plasma levels of several hormones and inflammatory factors result in an intense catabolic state, decreased activity of anabolic pathways, anorexia, and marked weight loss, leading to cachexia development and/or accentuation. Inflammatory mediators appear to be related to the control of a highly regulated process of muscle protein degradation that accelerates the process of cachexia. Several mediators have been postulated to participate in this process, including TNF-α myostatin, and activated protein degradation pathways. Some interventional therapies have been proposed, including nutritional (dietary, omega-3 fatty acid supplementation), hormonal (insulin), pharmacological (clenbuterol), and nonpharmacological (physical exercise) therapies. Omega-3 (n-3) polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), especially eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid, are recognized for their anti-inflammatory properties and have been used in therapeutic approaches to treat or attenuate cancer cachexia. In this review, we discuss recent findings on cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in inflammation in the cancer cachexia syndrome and the effectiveness of n-3 PUFAs to attenuate or prevent cancer cachexia.




Gorjao, R., dos Santos, C. M. M., Serdan, T. D. A., Diniz, V. L. S., Alba-Loureiro, T. C., Cury-Boaventura, M. F., … Hirabara, S. M. (2019, April 1). New insights on the regulation of cancer cachexia by N-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. Pharmacology and Therapeutics. Elsevier Inc.

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