Early biomarkers of doxorubicin-induced heart injury in a mouse model


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Abstract

Cardiac troponins, which are used as myocardial injury markers, are released in plasma only after tissue damage has occurred. Therefore, there is a need for identification of biomarkers of earlier events in cardiac injury to limit the extent of damage. To accomplish this, expression profiling of 1179 unique microRNAs (miRNAs) was performed in a chronic cardiotoxicity mouse model developed in our laboratory. Male B6C3F1 mice were injected intravenously with 3 mg/kg doxorubicin (DOX; an anti-cancer drug), or saline once a week for 2, 3, 4, 6, and 8 weeks, resulting in cumulative DOX doses of 6, 9, 12, 18, and 24 mg/kg, respectively. Mice were euthanized a week after the last dose. Cardiac injury was evidenced in mice exposed to 18 mg/kg and higher cumulative DOX dose whereas examination of hearts by light microscopy revealed cardiac lesions at 24 mg/kg DOX. Also, 24 miRNAs were differentially expressed in mouse hearts, with the expression of 1, 1, 2, 8, and 21 miRNAs altered at 6, 9, 12, 18, and 24 mg/kg DOX, respectively. A pro-apoptotic miR-34a was the only miRNA that was up-regulated at all cumulative DOX doses and showed a significant dose-related response. Up-regulation of miR-34a at 6 mg/kg DOX may suggest apoptosis as an early molecular change in the hearts of DOX-treated mice. At 12 mg/kg DOX, up-regulation of miR-34a was associated with down-regulation of hypertrophy-related miR-150; changes observed before cardiac injury. These findings may lead to the development of biomarkers of earlier events in DOX-induced cardiotoxicity that occur before the release of cardiac troponins.HighlightsUpregulation of miR-34a before doxorubicin-induced cardiac tissue injuryApoptosis might be an early event in mouse heart during doxorubicin treatment.Expression of miR-150 declined before doxorubicin-induced cardiac tissue injury.

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