Extensive cell death in thymocytes in colon 26-induced cachectic mice

S. Otsuka, H. Iwagaki, T. Yoshino, Y. Nitta, Y. Takeuchi, M. Uomoto, Akira Gochi, M. Nishibori, N. Tanaka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Extensive atrophy has been reported to occur in the thymus in a cancer-burden state but the mechanisms of this atrophy have not been fully elucidated. We investigated changes in the thymus in tumour-bearing mice inoculated with two subclones of the murine colon 26 adenocarcinoma cell line: clone 5 (non-cachectic) and clone 20 (cachectic). In clone 20 mice, body weights and thymocyte numbers decreased significantly compared with controls. Flow cytometric analysis of the thymocytes demonstrated that the frequency of single positive cells (CD4+ CD8- and CD4- CD8+) was significantly increased and that of double positive cells (CD4+ CD8+) was significantly decreased in clone 20 mice and, to a lesser extent, in clone 5 mice compared with controls. Serum levels of interleukin 6 and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) were significantly elevated. These results suggested that thymocyte apoptosis was accelerated in the cancer-cachectic state, and increased GM-CSF might be partly responsible for thymic atrophy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-45
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of International Medical Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2000


  • Apoptosis
  • Cachexia
  • Cancer
  • Thymus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology
  • Biochemistry, medical


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