Increased protein turnover despite normal energy metabolism and responses to feeding in patients with lung cancer

S Melville, M A McNurlan, Alexander Graham Calder, P J Garlick

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    Abstract

    We have examined the responses of energy and protein metabolism to nutrient intake in nine patients with lung carcinoma, of whom none were cachexic and only one had distant metastases, compared with nine control patients for elective aneurysm surgery, who were comparable in terms of age, body mass index, and smoking habits. Whole-body protein turnover and leucine oxidation were assessed by primed continuous infusion of L-[13C]leucine. Indirect calorimetry was used to determine energy expenditure and rates of carbohydrate and fat utilization. Lean body mass (LBM) was estimated from dilution of deuterium oxide. Measurements were made over an 8-h period, including 4 h postabsorptive followed by 4 h of feeding, during which small hourly meals were consumed. In the post-absorptive state, the rate of incorporation of leucine into protein was higher in the cancer group (mean +/- SD, cancer versus control: 102 +/- 21 versus 86 +/- 8 mumol/kg LBM/h, P less than 0.05), as was the release of leucine by protein degradation (126 +/- 19 versus 110 +/- 10 mumol/kg LBM/h, P less than 0.01), but there was no difference in rates of leucine oxidation (27 +/- 6 versus 27 +/- 5 mumol/kg LBM/h) or leucine balance (-25 +/- 7 versus -24 +/- 4 mumol/kg LBM/h). There were no differences between the cancer and control groups with respect to either resting energy expenditure (37.3 +/- 3.5 versus 35.2 +/- 3.8 kcal LBM/day) or the postabsorptive pattern of nutrient utilization (61 +/- 13% fat, 26 +/- 10% carbohydrate, and 13 +/- 2% protein versus 65 +/- 7%, 21 +/- 7%, and 14 +/- 2%, respectively). During feeding, leucine oxidation rose relative to the postabsorptive state, incorporation into protein remained the same, and release by protein degradation fell. Incorporation (106 +/- 20 versus 89 +/- 7 mumol/kg LBM/h, P less than 0.05) and release (59 +/- 12 versus 42 +/- 14 mumol/kg LBM/h, P less than 0.02) remained higher in the cancer group than in controls, but leucine oxidation (43 +/- 15 versus 43 +/- 12 mumol/kg LBM/h) and leucine balance (+48 +/- 10 versus +47 +/- 12 mumol/kg LBM/h) were the same. Energy expenditure during feeding increased to 43.8 +/- 5.1 versus 43.2 +/- 4.2 kcal/kg LBM/day, derived from 32 +/- 11% fat, 52 +/- 9% carbohydrate, and 16 +/- 5% protein in cancer patients and 36 +/- 7%, 48 +/- 8%, and 16 +/- 4%, respectively, in controls.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1125-1131
    Number of pages7
    JournalCancer Research
    Volume50
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 1990

    Keywords

    • Aged
    • Carbohydrate Metabolism
    • Energy Intake
    • Energy Metabolism
    • Female
    • Humans
    • Leucine
    • Lipid Metabolism
    • Lung Neoplasms
    • Male
    • Middle Aged
    • Proteins
    • Weight Loss

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  • Cite this

    Melville, S., McNurlan, M. A., Calder, A. G., & Garlick, P. J. (1990). Increased protein turnover despite normal energy metabolism and responses to feeding in patients with lung cancer. Cancer Research, 50(4), 1125-1131.