Document Type




Format of Original

10 p.

Publication Date




Source Publication

Brain, Behavior, and Immunity

Source ISSN


Original Item ID

doi: 10.1016/j.bbi.2014.07.013


Cancer patients frequently suffer from fatigue, a complex syndrome associated with loss of muscle mass, weakness, and depressed mood. Cancer-related fatigue (CRF) can be present at the time of diagnosis, during treatment, and persists for years after treatment. CRF negatively influences quality of life, limits functional independence, and is associated with decreased survival in patients with incurable disease. Currently there are no effective treatments to reduce CRF. The aim of this study was to use a mouse model of tumor growth and discriminate between two main components of fatigue: loss of muscle mass/function and altered mood/motivation. Here we show that tumor growth increased fatigue- and depressive-like behaviors, and reduced body and muscle mass. Decreased voluntary wheel running activity (VWRA) and increased depressive-like behavior in the forced swim and sucrose preference tests were evident in tumor-bearing mice within the first two weeks of tumor growth and preceded the loss of body and muscle mass. At three weeks, tumor-bearing mice had reduced grip strength but this was not associated with altered expression of myosin isoforms or impaired contractile properties of muscles. These increases in fatigue and depressive-like behaviors were paralleled by increased expression of IL-1β mRNA in the cortex and hippocampus. Minocycline administration reduced tumor-induced expression of IL-1β in the brain, reduced depressive-like behavior, and improved grip strength without altering muscle mass. Taken together, these results indicate that neuroinflammation and depressed mood, rather than muscle wasting, contribute to decreased voluntary activity and precede major changes in muscle contractile properties with tumor growth.


Accepted version. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, Vol. 43 (January 2015): 76-85. DOI.

NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Brain, Behavior, and Immunity. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, VOL 43, January 2015, DOI.

Donna McCarthy was affiliated with the Ohio State University at the time of publication.

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