Customized laboratory TLR4 and TLR2 detection method from peripheral human blood for early detection of doxorubicin-induced cardiotoxicity
Cancer treatments can have significant cardiovascular adverse effects that can cause cardiomyopathy and heart failure with reduced survival benefit and considerable decrease in the use of antineoplastic therapy. The purpose of this study is to assess the role of TLR2 and TLR4 gene expression as an early marker for the risk of doxorubicin-induced cardiomyopathy in correlation with early diastolic dysfunction in patients treated with doxorubicin. Our study included 25 consecutive patients who received treatment with doxorubicin for hematological malignancies (leukemia, lymphomas or multiple myeloma), aged 18–65 years, with a survival probability>6 months and with left ventricular ejection fraction>50%. Exclusion criteria consisted of the following: previous anthracycline therapy, previous radiotherapy, history of heart failure or chronic renal failure, atrial fibrillation, and pregnancy. In all patients, in fasting state, a blood sample was drawn for the assessment of TLR2 and TLR4 gene expression. Gene expression was assessed by quantitative reverse transcription PCR (qRT-PCR) using blood collection, RNA isolation, cDNA reverse transcription, qRT-PCR and quantification of the relative expression. At enrollment, all patients were evaluated clinically; an ECG and an echocardiography were performed. The average amount of gene expression units was 0.113 for TLR4 (range 0.059–0.753) and 0.218 for TLR2 (range 0.046–0.269). The mean mRNA extracted quantity was 113 571 ng/μl. As for the diastolic function parameters, criteria for diastolic dysfunction were present after 6 months in 16 patients (64%). In these patients, the mean values for TLR4 were 0.1198625 and for TLR2 were 0.16454 gene expression units. As for the diastolic function parameters, criteria for diastolic dysfunction were present after 6 months in 16 patients (64%). In these patients, the mean value for TLR2 was 0.30 ± 0.19 and for TLR4 was 0.15 ± 0.04. The corresponding values for the patients who did not develop diastolic dysfunction were 0.16 ± 0.07 for TLR2 (P = 0.01) and 0.11 ± 0.10 for TLR4 (P = 0.2). Our study suggests that TLR4 and TLR2 expression is higher in patients under doxorubicin therapy who develop diastolic dysfunction. This may suggest a predisposition to myocardial involvement, a higher sensitivity to doxorubicin cardiac effects.