Introduction We evaluated the gene expression levels of atrogin-1, MuRF1, myostatin, follistatin, activin A, and inhibin alpha in skeletal muscle samples of patients with gastric cancer and controls. Methods We studied 38 cancer patients and 12 controls who underwent surgery for gastric adenocarcinoma and benign abdominal diseases, respectively. A biopsy specimen was obtained from the rectus abdominis muscle from all participants. The relative gene expression of atrogin-1, MuRF1, myostatin, follistatin, activin A, and inhibin alpha was determined by qRT-PCR analysis. Results Atrogin-1 and MuRF1 mRNA expression was similar between cancer patients and controls and was unaffected by the disease stage or the severity of body weight loss. Transcript levels of myostatin and follistatin did not differ between cases and controls and were similar across disease stages and categories of weight loss. Finally, no differences were detected in activin A and inhibin alpha gene expression between cancer patients and controls. Discussion In skeletal muscle, the gene expression of atrogin-1, MuRF1, myostatin, follistatin, activin A, and inhibin alpha is not affected by the presence of cancer. The expression of atrophy-related genes is unaffected by the disease stage and the degree of weight loss. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
- cancer cachexia
- muscle wasting