Experimental studies have suggested that defective skeletal muscle regeneration could contribute to muscle wasting in cancer patients. However, data in humans are still lacking. In this study we aimed to assess the expression of the genes involved in muscle regeneration in gastric cancer patients. The RNA expression of the genes involved in muscle regeneration was assessed in the rectus abdominis muscle of patients with gastric cancer (n=30) and in age-matched control subjects (n=8). The Pax7 expression was significantly increased in the muscle of gastric cancer patients, either in the first stages of the disease or in stages IIIA and B. The increased expression was present both in stages IA and B and in stages II and III. The MyoD espression was also higher in the cancer patients than in the controls. However, the increased MyoD expression was present only in stages IA and B and not in the more advanced stages of the disease. The Myf5 expression, as well as that of the neonatal isoform of Myosin Heavy Chain (nMHC) did not differ significantly between the cancer patients and the controls. The necdin expression was negligible in healthy adult muscles and was significantly up-regulated in the muscle of gastric cancer patients. Its expression was highly increased in stages IA and B while it was similar to the control in stages II and III. The results of the present study show that in the skeletal muscle of gastric cancer patients, the expression of the genes involved in muscle regeneration is increased with respect to the controls.
- Skeletal muscle