Statins Protect Against Early Stages of Doxorubicin-induced Cardiotoxicity Through the Regulation of Akt Signaling and SERCA2

Dadson K., Thavendiranathan P., Hauck L., Grothe D., Azam M. A., Stanley-Hasnain S., ...More

CJC Open, vol.4, no.12, pp.1043-1052, 2022 (Scopus) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 4 Issue: 12
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.cjco.2022.08.006
  • Journal Name: CJC Open
  • Journal Indexes: Scopus, EMBASE, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Page Numbers: pp.1043-1052
  • TED University Affiliated: No


© 2022 The AuthorsBackground: Doxorubicin-induced cardiomyopathy (DICM) is one of the complications that can limit treatment for a significant number of cancer patients. In animal models, the administration of statins can prevent the development of DICM. Therefore, the use of statins with anthracyclines potentially could enable cancer patients to complete their chemotherapy without added cardiotoxicity. The precise mechanism mediating the cardioprotection is not well understood. The purpose of this study is to determine the molecular mechanism by which rosuvastatin confers cardioprotection in a mouse model of DICM. Methods: Rosuvastatin was intraperitoneally administered into adult male mice at 100 μg/kg daily for 7 days, followed by a single intraperitoneal doxorubicin injection at 10 mg/kg. Animals continued to receive rosuvastatin daily for an additional 14 days. Cardiac function was assessed by echocardiography. Optical calcium mapping was performed on retrograde Langendorff perfused isolated hearts. Ventricular tissue samples were analyzed by immunofluorescence microscopy, Western blotting, and quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Results: Exposure to doxorubicin resulted in significantly reduced fractional shortening (27.4% ± 1.11% vs 40% ± 5.8% in controls; P < 0.001) and re-expression of the fetal gene program. However, we found no evidence of maladaptive cardiac hypertrophy or adverse ventricular remodeling in mice exposed to this dose of doxorubicin. In contrast, rosuvastatin-doxorubicin-treated mice maintained their cardiac function (39% ± 1.26%; P < 0.001). Mechanistically, the effect of rosuvastatin was associated with activation of Akt and phosphorylation of phospholamban with preserved sarcoplasmic/endoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ transporting 2 (SERCA2)-mediated Ca2+ reuptake. These effects occurred independently of perturbations in ryanodine receptor 2 function. Conclusions: Rosuvastatin counteracts the cardiotoxic effects of doxorubicin by directly targeting sarcoplasmic calcium cycling.