The metabolic response of tumour-bearing mice to fasting

A M Rofe, S J Porter, R Bais, R A Conyers

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The suggestion that the ketonaemic response to fasting may be altered in the tumour-bearing state was investigated by studying the metabolism of fasted C57/BL6j mice bearing transplanted B16 melanomas. Ketone body (D-3-hydroxybutyrate and acetoacetate) concentrations in the blood of the tumour-bearing mice were significantly increased after a 24 h fast compared to control mice with identical dietary histories. Hepatic glycogen levels were lower at the start of the fasting period in the tumour-bearing mice as were the fat stores. The loss of adipose tissue during the fasting period was greater in the tumour-bearing mice. After 48 h of fasting, the ketonaemia was significantly lower in the tumour-bearing mice compared to the appropriate controls. Two distinct metabolic states are indicated in these fasted tumour-bearing mice, one characterised by accelerated ketonaemia, and a later, near terminal stage, where fat deposits are markedly depleted and ketonaemia is decreased.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)619-23
Number of pages5
JournalBritish Journal of Cancer
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1985


  • 3-Hydroxybutyric Acid
  • Acetoacetates
  • Adipose Tissue
  • Animals
  • Blood Glucose
  • Fasting
  • Glucose
  • Hydroxybutyrates
  • Ketone Bodies
  • Lactates
  • Liver
  • Liver Glycogen
  • Male
  • Melanoma
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Pyruvates
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Cite this

Rofe, A. M., Porter, S. J., Bais, R., & Conyers, R. A. (1985). The metabolic response of tumour-bearing mice to fasting. British Journal of Cancer, 52(4), 619-23.