Tumor growth influences skeletal muscle protein turnover in the pregnant rat.
ABSTRACT The implantation of a fast growing tumor (the Yoshida AH-130 ascites hepatoma) to mid-pregnant rats resulted in no changes in fetus weight, in spite of an important body weight decrease observed in the mother. Tumor-bearing pregnant rats showed an accelerated muscle protein degradation that resulted in decreases in both gastrocnemius and soleus muscle weight and protein content. Although very slight changes were observed in liver protein turnover after tumor implantation, muscle protein degradation and ubiquitin gene expression were increased (in relation with the non-tumor-bearing pregnant rats) in the first postimplantation period (0-4 d), whereas it remained lower in the second studied period (4-7 d), compensating for the initial differences when the whole period (0-7 d) was considered. Similar results were observed when muscle protein synthesis was studied. On the whole, tumor growth resulted in a slightly decreased protein accumulation rate. The results presented suggest that the implantation of this tumor in the pregnant rat has little or no consequences in fetal growth but results in an important muscle waste in the mother.