April 2012

Document Type


Degree Name



Dept. of Cell and Developmental Biology


Oregon Health & Science University


Chronic disease is marked by perturbations in both behavior and systemic metabolism. A loss of muscle mass, decreased food intake, and decreases in daily activity are collectively referred to as cachexia. The presence of cachexia likely has a significant impact on disease survival. While the features of cachexia are conserved, the underlying diseases that cause cachexia are varied. Illnesses such as cancer, renal failure, heart failure and chronic infection all result in sickness behavior and muscle atrophy. Despite significant variation in the underlying disease pathology, conditions associated with cachexia are all marked by systemic inflammation. The infusion of inflammatory cytokines into experimental animals reproduces the features of cachexia. Despite this, the mechanisms by which inflammation produces cachexia remain unclear and treatment options are limited. The goal of this thesis was to define the anatomic sites where cytokines act to produce the different features of cachexi




School of Medicine



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