Treatment of rats with either intermittent bolus i.v. injections or continuous i.v. infusions of the same sublethal daily dose of tumor necrosis factor (TNF) results in decreased food intake and decreased nitrogen balance compared to saline-treated control rats. After 4 days of treatment, rats treated with intermittent bolus doses of TNF develop tolerance to the nutritional effects and consume normal amounts of food and have nitrogen balance similar to those of saline treated rats. Rats receiving the continuous infusion of TNF do not. Rats treated with both routes of TNF lose more weight than pair fed rats who eat the same mean amount as the continuous TNF treated group. In addition, 56% of rats receiving continuous infusion TNF die during the 8-day experimental period while rats receiving either intermittent bolus TNF or similar food intake (pair fed) do not. Body composition studies of rats that completed the 8 days of treatment indicate that rats receiving either continuous infusion or intermittent bolus TNF have increased percentages of body water and reduced percentages of body solid compared to saline treated control rats. Rats pair fed to the food intake of continuous TNF treated rats also had increased percentages of body water and reduced percentages of body solid, but changes were significantly less than those observed in continuous TNF infused rats. Continuous TNF infusion reduced total body nitrogen and potassium while pair feeding did not reduce potassium and reduced nitrogen to a lesser degree. Pair feeding and continuous TNF infusion reduced total body fat to a similar extent. Twice a day administration of TNF resulted in lesser changes in carcass water, solid, nitrogen, lipid, and potassium than continuous infusion of the same dose of TNF. The results indicate that continuous infusion of TNF can produce anorexia, weight loss, edema, loss of body protein, lipid and cell mass, and lethality which is markedly ameliorated with bolus doses of TNF. The findings are consistent with the hypothesis that slow continuous secretion of sublethal amounts of TNF may mediate cancer cachexia.
View details for Web of Science ID A1990DK78300035
View details for PubMedID 2354450