Lipid metabolism in cancer cachexia
Cancer cachexia, characterized by losses in muscle and adipose tissue (AT), is associated with poor quality of life and prognosis, and lacks effective therapies. Both tumor- and host- derived factors disrupt normal metabolism and are vital to the catabolic drive in cancer cachexia. While muscle loss has long dominated cachexia research, recent work conducted predominantly in rodent models has begun to recognize the significance of AT lipid metabolism alterations in the development and progression of cancer cachexia. AT losses are mainly attributed to the activation of lipolytic pathways. An important recent discovery has been in the demonstration of white AT (WAT) “browning” conferring thermogenic properties to adipocytes that results in wasteful energy expenditure. Collectively, both elevated lipolysis and WAT thermogenesis play an important role in AT depletion in cancer. The purpose of this review is to highlight current knowledge related to the regulation of AT function in cancer cachexia.