Calorie restriction suppresses subgenomic mink cytopathic focus-forming murine leukemia virus transcription and frequency of genomic expression while impairing lymphoma formation.


Calorie restriction suppresses mammary proviral mRNA expression and protooncogene activation in breast tumor-prone C3H/Ou mice while inhibiting tumor formation. To determine whether the beneficial effects of chronic energy-intake restriction (CEIR) can be extended to an organ site of retrovirus-induced tumorigenesis where the dynamics of growth and sexual maturity are not paramount as they are in breast tissue, calorie restriction of 40% was imposed on thymic lymphoma-prone AKR mice when 4 weeks old. Recombination between various murine leukemia virus (MuLV) mRNAs, resulting in the generation of an 8.4-kilobase genomic-length transcript with mink cytopathic focus-forming (MCF) characteristics, is considered the proximal retroviral event in AKR lymphomagenesis. Thymic expression of subgenomic MCF MuLV mRNA was uniformly suppressed among 6- and 8-week-old CEIR mice (P less than 0.02). This suppression of MuLV transcription preceded a 25% reduction in the appearance of genomic-length MCF transcripts among CEIR mice and a 28% reduction in cumulative lymphoma mortality. The latency to median tumor incidence was extended greater than 3 months by calorie restriction, and median lifespan was extended approximately 50%. Survival curves for the full-fed and CEIR dietary cohorts were found to be significantly different (P less than 0.0001), with full-fed mice experiencing a 3 times greater risk of lymphoma mortality. These findings extend the known range of pathologic states influenced by CEIR in inbred mice and show that retroviral mechanisms involved in generation of lymphoid malignancy can be significantly impaired by calorie restriction.

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