Herba leonurineattenuates doxorubicin-induced apoptosis in H9c2 cardiac muscle cells

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Doxorubicin (DOX) is a highly effective antineoplastic drug. However, DOX-induced apoptosis in cardiomyocytes leads to irreversible degenerative cardiomyopathy and heart failure, which limits DOX clinical application. Leonurine is a special alkaloid for Herba leonuri, a traditional herb with cardioprotective effects. In current study, we investigated possible protective effects of Leonurine against DOX-induced cardiomyopathy in H9c2 cells. DOX-injured H9c2 cell model was made by application of 2 μM DOX. Leonurine was added to cells 2 h before DOX treatment. Pre-treated with Leonurine could attenuate DOX-induced apoptotic death of H9c2 cell, reduce MDA formation and intracellular Ca2+ overload. Leonurine also attenuated DOX-induced high expression of Bax, increased Bcl-2 expression in both protein and mRNA level. Myocardial mitochondrion is the target organelle of DOX-induced toxicity in cardiomyocytes. Leonurine moderated the dissipation of mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm) caused by DOX treatment. Our results indicated that Leonurine attenuated DOX-induced apoptosis in H9c2 cell by increasing anti-oxidant, anti-apoptotic ability and protecting mitochondrial function.

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