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Development of a method to support in vitro diagnosis of cachexia in domestic cats

Grant number: 19/23068-6
Support Opportunities:Research Grants - Innovative Research in Small Business - PIPE
Duration: November 01, 2020 - July 31, 2021
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Veterinary Medicine - Preventive Veterinary Medicine
Principal Investigator:Gustavo Shimabukuro Marchini
Grantee:Gustavo Shimabukuro Marchini
Host Company:Tovem Biotech Pesquisas e Análises Técnicas Ltda
CNAE: Desenvolvimento de programas de computador sob encomenda
Testes e análises técnicas
Pesquisa e desenvolvimento experimental em ciências físicas e naturais
City: São Paulo
Pesquisadores principais:
Douglas Martins Veronez


Cachexia is a metabolic syndrome characterized mainly by the involuntary loss of muscle mass that cannot be fully reversed by an increase in nutrient intake and which leads to a progressive functional impairment of the body. This syndrome is associated with other diseases affecting humans as acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, multiple sclerosis, tuberculosis, and especially cancer, as well as companion animals with cancer, congestive heart failure, and chronic kidney disease. There are currently no effective methods of diagnosing cachexia, especially in the early stages, so that in humans and pets the main diagnosis is based on the assessment of involuntary weight loss, inflammation and metabolic changes to define the stage of the syndrome. Data from the World Health Organization show that cancer is the second leading cause of death in humans worldwide, with 9.6 million deaths reported in 2018, 20% of which are cachexia-related. In this scenario, cachexia-related expenditures on cancer treatment account for about $ 6.2 billion worldwide and $ 138 million in Brazil. In the case of companion animals, it is estimated that about 20% of dogs and 25% of cats will develop some form of cancer throughout their lifetime, with cachexia associated with 70% in dogs and over 90% in cats. Furthermore, in both animal species chronic kidney disease is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality with cachexia-related complications in more than 20% of animals. In domestic felines, chronic kidney disease appears most significantly, affecting between 30 and 50% of animals older than 15 years. These numbers contributed to a global pet market with revenues exceeding $ 124 billion by 2018 and forecast to exceed $ 200 billion by 2025. Brazil is the second largest pet market with revenues of $ 6.5 billion of which the share of veterinary treatments and medicines totals more than US $ 1.15 billion (17.7%). Initially, mouse and domestic feline myoblasts will be differentiated into myotube and treated with interleukin IL-1a, cytokine TNFa and serum from veterinary patients. Molecular, morphological and functional parameters will be analyzed using fluorescence methods for intracellular calcium evaluation, MTT studies for cell viability verification and Western Blot tests for protein quantification. Thus, this project aims to develop an in vitro method to assist diagnosis of cachexia in domestic felines to allow an improvement in the quality of life of these animals with treatment before the manifestation of the most severe symptoms associated with cachexia. If the method proves to be effective, it can be expanded to other markets, such as dogs and human patients care. (AU)

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