A novel compound DT-010 protects against doxorubicin-induced cardiotoxicity in zebrafish and H9c2 cells by inhibiting reactive oxygen species-mediated apoptotic and autophagic pathways

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Doxorubicin (Dox) is an effective anti-cancer agent but limited by its cardiotoxicity, thus the search for pharmacological agents for enhancing anti-cancer activities and protecting against cardiotoxicity has been a subject of great interest. We have previously reported the synergistic anti-cancer effects of a novel compound DT-010. In the present study, we further investigated the cardioprotective effects of DT-010 in zebrafish embryos in vivo and the molecular underlying mechanisms in H9c2 cardiomyocytes in vitro. We showed that DT-010 prevented the Dox-induced morphological distortions in the zebrafish heart and the associated cardiac impairments, and especially improved ventricular functions. By using H9c2 cells model, we showed that DT-010 directly inhibited the generation of reactive oxygen species by Dox and protected cell death and cellular damage. We further observed that DT-010 protected against Dox-induced myocardiopathy via inhibiting downstream molecular pathways in response to oxidative stress, including reactive oxygen species-mediated MAPK signaling pathways ERK and JNK, and apoptotic pathways involving the activation of caspase 3, caspase 7, and PARP signaling. Recent studies also suggest the importance of alterations in cardiac autophagy in Dox cardiotoxicity. We further showed that DT-010 could inhibit the induction of autophagosomes formation by Dox via regulating the upstream Akt/AMPK/mTOR signaling. Since Dox-induced cardiotoxicity is multifactorial, our results suggest that multi-functional agent such as DT-010 might be an effective therapeutic agent for combating cardiotoxicity associated with chemotherapeutic agents such as Dox.

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