Journal of Cachexia, Sarcopenia and Muscle (JCSM) - Abstract

 Volume 1, Number 1, Page 23 - 33

Systemic zinc redistribution and dyshomeostasis in cancer cachexia

Pontus M. A. Siren, Matti J. Siren

Cachexia affects up to two thirds of all cancer patients and is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality. It is a complex metabolic syndrome associated with the underlying illness and characterized by loss of skeletal muscle tissue with or without loss of fat mass. Cachexia’s other prominent clinical symptoms include anorexia, systemic inflammation, pediatric growth failure, and hypogonadism. The relationship between the symptoms of cancer cachexia and the underlying illness is unclear, and there is an urgent need for a better understanding of the pathophysiology of this syndrome. Normal Zn metabolism is often disrupted in cancer patients, but the possible effects of systemic Zn dyshomeostasis in cachexia have not been investigated. We propose that the acute phase response can mediate Zn redistribution and accumulation in skeletal muscle tissue and contribute to the activation of the ubiquitin–proteasome pathway that regulates protein catabolism. This chronic redistribution deprives Zn from other tissues and organs and compromises critical physiological functions in the body. The cardinal symptoms of Zn deficiency are anorexia, systemic inflammation, growth failure in children, and hypogonadism. These symptoms also prominently characterize cancer cachexia suggesting that the role of systemic Zn dyshomeostasis in cachexia should be investigated.

Siren PM, Siren MJ. Systemic zinc redistribution and dyshomeostasis in cancer cachexia. J Cachexia Sarcopenia Muscle 2010;1:23-33.