Pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP) protects against mitoxantrone-induced cardiac injury in mice

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Mitoxantrone (MXT) is an androstenedione that is used to treat cancers and progressive forms of multiple sclerosis; however, its use is limited by its cardiotoxicity. Pituitary adenylate cyclase activating polypeptide (PACAP) is a member of the secretin/growth hormone-releasing hormone/vasoactive intestinal peptide family and has many functions, including cytoprotection and immunosuppression. We tested the hypothesis that PACAP can protect against MXT-induced cardiotoxicity in mice. Female BALB/c mice were treated once weekly for 4 weeks with saline (n = 14) or MXT (3 mg/kg, i.p.; n = 14). Half of the mice in each group received PACAP (10 μg, i.p.) 1 h before and 24 and 48 h after MXT, while the remaining mice received injections of saline on the same schedule. Echocardiography was used to assess cardiac structure and function. In mice treated with MXT and saline, body weight was significantly reduced after the third dose of MXT. PACAP significantly attenuated the reduction in body weight; however, the weights did not return to control level. Compared to controls, MXT-treated mice had significantly increased left ventricular (LV) diameter and LV volume and decreased LV posterior wall thickness. Fractional shortening (FS) and ejection fraction (EF) were also significantly decreased. Treatment with PACAP prevented MXT-induced LV dilation and significantly attenuated the reductions in FS and EF, although FS and EF did not return to control level. PACAP38 did not prevent MXT-induced decreases in LV posterior wall thickness. MXT dose-dependently decreased the viability of cultured U937 (human leukemia) cells; PACAP did not protect cultured U937 cells from MXT-mediated cell death. In conclusion, PACAP can attenuate MXT-mediated LV dilation and dysfunction in mice.

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