Lactate as an energy substrate and its role in carcinogenesis

Dayana Pimentel de Souza, Marvyn de Santana do Sacramento, Pedro Henrique Silva Santos, Giulliano Gardenghi


Introduction: Lactate is the product of the degradation of pyruvate produced in the cytoplasm. For a long time, it was believed that it was produced only in the presence of hypoxia. Several studies have shown that lactate production depends on several factors and is not only influenced by the lactic anaerobic system. In addition, large concentrations of lactate are present in neoplastic cells, even at rest, a phenomenon known as the Warburg Effect, which can occur due to the high metabolic rate of tumor cells. Objective: This study aimed to discuss the physiological aspects involved in the production, metabolism and signaling of lactate, as well as to demonstrate the new therapeutic results related to the cancer clinic. Methods: This is a literature review study. Articles were selected in the languages: Portuguese, English and Spanish, published between 2000 and 2019, in the databases: MEDline via Pubmed, Scientific Electronic Library Online (Scielo). The gray literature was verified using Google Scholar and reference list of selected articles. Results: 43 articles related to lactate were included. The searches were carried out between July and December 2019. Conclusion: Lactate is a subtract produced in aerobic and anaerobic environments, in different exercise intensities. It can be used as an energy source during and after physical exercise, in addition to acting on anabolic signals. On the other hand, it can contribute to the maintenance of an environment that favors carcinogenic proliferation. This thinking has allowed the creation of new therapies to decrease tissue damage and eradicate malignant cells.

Keywords: lactic acid, neoplasm, metabolism.

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