IL-6 regulation on skeletal muscle mitochondrial remodeling during cancer cachexia in the ApcMin/+ mouse
Background: Muscle protein turnover regulation during cancer cachexia is being rapidly defined, and skeletal muscle mitochondria function appears coupled to processes regulating muscle wasting. Skeletal muscle oxidative capacity and the expression of proteins regulating mitochondrial biogenesis and dynamics are disrupted in severely cachectic ApcMin/+ mice. It has not been determined if these changes occur at the onset of cachexia and are necessary for the progression of muscle wasting. Exercise and anti-cytokine therapies have proven effective in preventing cachexia development in tumor bearing mice, while their effect on mitochondrial content, biogenesis and dynamics is not well understood. The purposes of this study were to 1) determine IL-6 regulation on mitochondrial remodeling/dysfunction during the progression of cancer cachexia and 2) to determine if exercise training can attenuate mitochondrial dysfunction and the induction of proteolytic pathways during IL-6 induced cancer cachexia.Methods: ApcMin/+ mice were examined during the progression of cachexia, after systemic interleukin (IL)-6r antibody treatment, or after IL-6 over-expression with or without exercise. Direct effects of IL-6 on mitochondrial remodeling were examined in cultured C2C12 myoblasts.Results: Mitochondrial content was not reduced during the initial development of cachexia, while muscle PGC-1α and fusion (Mfn1, Mfn2) protein expression was repressed. With progressive weight loss mitochondrial content decreased, PGC-1α and fusion proteins were further suppressed, and fission protein (FIS1) was induced. IL-6 receptor antibody administration after the onset of cachexia improved mitochondrial content, PGC-1α, Mfn1/Mfn2 and FIS1 protein expression. IL-6 over-expression in pre-cachectic mice accelerated body weight loss and muscle wasting, without reducing mitochondrial content, while PGC-1α and Mfn1/Mfn2 protein expression was suppressed and FIS1 protein expression induced. Exercise normalized these IL-6 induced effects. C2C12 myotubes administered IL-6 had increased FIS1 protein expression, increased oxidative stress, and reduced PGC-1α gene expression without altered mitochondrial protein expression.Conclusions: Altered expression of proteins regulating mitochondrial biogenesis and fusion are early events in the initiation of cachexia regulated by IL-6, which precede the loss of muscle mitochondrial content. Furthermore, IL-6 induced mitochondrial remodeling and proteolysis can be rescued with moderate exercise training even in the presence of high circulating IL-6 levels. © 2012 White et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.