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A potent liver-mediated mechanism for loss of muscle mass during androgen deprivation therapy


Context: Androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) in prostate cancer results in muscular atrophy, due to loss of the anabolic actions of testosterone. Recently, we discovered that testosterone acts on the hepatic urea cycle to reduce amino acid nitrogen elimination. We now hypothesize that ADT enhances protein oxidative losses by increasing hepatic urea production, resulting in muscle catabolism. We also investigated whether progressive resistance training (PRT) can offset ADT-induced changes in protein metabolism. Objective: To investigate the effect of ADT on whole-body protein metabolism and hepatic urea production with and without a home-based PRT program. Design: A randomized controlled trial. Patients and intervention: Twenty-four prostate cancer patients were studied before and after 6 weeks of ADT. Patients were randomized into either usual care (UC) (n = 11) or PRT (n = 13) starting immediately after ADT. Main outcome measures: The rate of hepatic urea production was measured by the urea turnover technique using 15N2-urea. Whole-body leucine turnover was measured, and leucine rate of appearance (LRa), an index of protein breakdown and leucine oxidation (Lox), a measure of irreversible protein loss, was calculated. Results: ADT resulted in a significant mean increase in hepatic urea production (from 427.6 +/- 18.8 to 486.5 +/- 21.3; P < 0.01) regardless of the exercise intervention. Net protein loss, as measured by Lox/Lra, increased by 12.6 +/- 4.9% (P < 0.05). PRT preserved lean body mass without affecting hepatic urea production. Conclusion: As early as 6 weeks after initiation of ADT, the suppression of testosterone increases protein loss through elevated hepatic urea production. Short-term PRT was unable to offset changes in protein metabolism during a state of profound testosterone deficiency.

Type Journal
ISBN 2049-3614 (Print) 2049-3614 (Linking)
Authors Lam, T.; McLean, M.; Hayden, A.; Poljak, A.; Cheema, B.; Gurney, H.; Stone, G.; Bahl, N.; Reddy, N.; Shahidipour, H.; Birzniece, V.
Responsible Garvan Author (missing name)
Publisher Name Endocrine Connections
Published Date 2019-05-01
Published Volume 8
Published Issue 5
Published Pages 605-615
Status Published in-print
DOI 10.1530/EC-19-0179
URL link to publisher's version