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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 976926, 10 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/976926
Research Article

Hochuekkito (TJ-41), a Kampo Formula, Ameliorates Cachexia Induced by Colon 26 Adenocarcinoma in Mice

1Department of Respiratory Medicine, School of Medicine, Juntendo University, 2-1-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8421, Japan
2Research Institute for Diseases of Old Age, School of Medicine, Juntendo University, 2-1-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8421, Japan
3Center for Advanced Kampo Medicine and Clinical Research, School of Medicine, Juntendo University, 2-1-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8421, Japan
4Division of Gene Regulation, Institute for Advanced Medical Research, School of Medicine, Keio University, 35 Shinanomachi, Shinjyuku-ku, Tokyo 160-8582, Japan

Received 26 September 2012; Revised 2 December 2012; Accepted 2 December 2012

Academic Editor: Angelo Antonio Izzo

Copyright © 2012 Suzu Yae et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Cachexia, a major cause of cancer-related death, is characterized by depletion of muscle and fat tissues, anorexia, asthenia, and hypoglycemia. Recent studies indicate that secretions of proinflammatory cytokines such as interleukin-6 (IL-6) play a crucial role in cachexia development, and that these cytokines are secreted from not only cancer cells but also host cells such as macrophages. In this study, we investigated the therapeutic effects of hochuekkito, a Kampo formula, on cachexia induced by colon 26 adenocarcinoma in mice. Hochuekkito treatment did not inhibit tumor growth, but significantly attenuated the reduction in carcass weight, food and water intake, weight of the gastrocnemius muscle and fat tissue around the testes, and decrease of serum triglyceride level compared with controls. Furthermore, hochuekkito treatment significantly reduced serum IL-6 level and IL-6 expression level in macrophages in tissues surrounding the tumor. In vitro studies showed that hochuekkito suppressed the production of IL-6 by THP-1 or RAW264.7 macrophage cells, although it did not affect IL-6 production by colon 26 carcinoma cells. These results suggest that hochuekkito inhibits the production of proinflammatory cytokines, particularly IL-6, by host cells such as macrophages. Therefore, hochuekkito may be a promising anticachectic agent for the treatment of patients with cancer.