Theophylline is able to partially revert cachexia in tumour-bearing rats.
Nutr Metab (Lond). 2012 ;9(1):76. Epub 2012 Aug 21. PMID: 22909172
BACKGROUND AND AIMS: The aim of the present investigation was to examine the anti-wasting effects of theophylline (a methylxantine present in tea leaves) on a rat model of cancer cachexia.
METHODS: The in vitro effects of the nutraceuticals on proteolysis were examined on muscle cell cultures submitted to hyperthermia. Individual muscle weights, muscle gene expression, body composition and cardiac function were measured in rats bearing the Yoshida AH-130 ascites hepatoma, following theophylline treatment.
RESULTS: Theophylline treatment inhibited proteolysis in C2C12 cell line and resulted in an anti-proteolytic effect on muscle tissue (soleus and heart), which was associated with a decrease in circulating TNF-alpha levels and with a decreased proteolytic systems gene expression. Treatment with the nutraceutical also resulted in an improvement in body composition and cardiac function.
CONCLUSION: Theophylline - alone or in combination with drugs - may be a candidate molecule for the treatment of cancer cachexia.