Animals suffering from malignancy or chronic infection develop characteristic metabolic abnormalities, including a well-defined hypertriglyceridemic state. These abnormalities have been attributed to release of one or more mediators from activated macrophages. We report that cancer patients receiving RIFN-gamma, a potent macrophage activator, at doses of greater than or equal to 0.25 mg/m2/d i.m. show marked increases in triglyceride but not in cholesterol levels (pretreatment triglyceride level of 180 +/- 190 mg/dl [mean +/- SD] vs. a day-14 level of 370 +/- 242 mg/dl, n = 23, p less than 0.001 by the paired t test). This hypertriglyceridemia was characterized by an increase in very low-density lipoproteins and a decrease in plasma post-heparin lipase activity, consistent with defective triglyceride clearance (mean pretreatment lipase level of 2.1 mumol/ml/h vs. a day-14 level of 1.2 mumol/ml/h, n = 6, p = 0.02 by the paired t test). rIFN-gamma did not directly inhibit lipoprotein lipase enzymatic activity in vitro. Other possible mechanisms of action, such as suppression of lipase by an rIFN-gamma-induced mediator released from activated macrophages, or a direct effect of interferon on lipase biosynthesis, require further investigation. Our observations provide evidence that factors produced by the immune system can regulate lipid metabolism in man.
Recombinant gamma interferon induces hypertriglyceridemia and inhibits post-heparin lipase activity in cancer patients.
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R Kurzrock, M F Rohde, J R Quesada, S H Gianturco, W A Bradley, S A Sherwin, J U Gutterman; Recombinant gamma interferon induces hypertriglyceridemia and inhibits post-heparin lipase activity in cancer patients.. J Exp Med 1 October 1986; 164 (4): 1093–1101. doi: https://doi.org/10.1084/jem.164.4.1093
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