The Journal of surgical research

Anticatabolic effect of the beta 2-agonist cimaterol in vivo in tumor-bearing animals.

PMID 7643598


Loss of lean body mass occurs in cancer and may adversely affect outcome. The beta 2-agonist cimaterol increases muscle mass and protein content in tumor-bearing animals, in part by decreasing protein degradation, but the effect of the drug on protein synthesis remains uncertain. To determine the influence of cimaterol on protein synthesis, a methylcholanthrene sarcoma was transplanted sc into the dorsum of male Fischer-344 rats. After 3 weeks of tumor growth, tumor-bearing and control animals received daily sc injections of the beta 2-agonist cimaterol (0.15 mg/kg) for 5 days. Rate of protein synthesis was measured using iv [3H]-phenylalanine (25 microCi/100 g body wt) and cold phenylalanine (150 mumole/100 g body wt) in a flooding dose. Extensor digitorum longus muscles were harvested 10 min later, homogenized, and assayed for [3H]-phenylalanine uptake (bound) (dpm/mg muscle) and tissue-specific (free) radioactivity to determine protein synthesis rate (Ks: %/24 hr). There was a significant increase in protein synthesis rate in control and tumor-bearing animals receiving cimaterol compared to that in freely feeding, food-deprived, or matched-carcass-weight nontumor-bearing controls, as well as compared to that in tumor-bearing controls. We conclude that the anabolic effects of cimaterol are due to both decreased protein degradation and increased muscle protein synthesis. Therefore, beta 2-agonists may prove useful in prevention and/or treatment of cancer cachexia.

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Cimaterol, VETRANAL, analytical standard