Aims: Cancer cachexia is a syndrome which results in severe loss of muscle mass and marked fatigue. Conditioned media from cachexia-inducing cancer cells triggers metabolic dysfunction in skeletal muscle, including decreased mitochondrial respiration, which may contribute to fatigue. We hypothesized that Lewis lung carcinoma conditioned medium (LCM) would impair the mitochondrial electron transport chain (ETC) and increase production of reactive oxygen species, ultimately leading to decreased mitochondrial respiration. We incubated C2C12 myotubes with LCM for 30 min, 2, 4, 24 or 48 h. We measured protein content by western blot; oxidant production by 2′,7′-dichlorofluorescin diacetate (DCF), 4-amino-5-methylamino-2′,7′-difluorofluorescein diacetate (DAF), and MitoSox; cytochrome c oxidase activity by oxidation of cytochrome c substrate; and oxygen consumption rate (OCR) of intact myotubes by Seahorse XF Analyzer.

Results: LCM treatment for 2 or 24 h decreased basal OCR and ATP-related OCR, but did not alter the content of mitochondrial complexes I, III, IV and V. LCM treatment caused a transient rise in reactive oxygen species (ROS). In particular, mitochondrial superoxide (MitoSOX) was elevated at 2 h. 4-Hydroxynonenal, a marker of oxidative stress, was elevated in both cytosolic and mitochondrial fractions of cell lysates after LCM treatment.

Conclusion: These data show that lung cancer-conditioned media alters electron flow in the ETC and increases mitochondrial ROS production, both of which may ultimately impair aerobic metabolism and decrease muscle endurance.

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Published in Frontiers in Physiology, v. 5, article 503, p. 1-8.

© 2014 McLean, Moylan and Andrade. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

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