Abstract 187: Overexpression of Calpastatin Enhances Cardiotoxicity Induced by Doxorubicin
Background: Doxorubicin causes damage to the heart, which may present as cardiomyopathy. However, the mechanisms by which doxorubicin induces cardiotoxicity remain not fully understood and no effective prevention for doxorubicin cardiomyopathy is available. Calpains, a family of calcium-dependent thiol-proteases, have been implicated in cardiovascular diseases. Their activities are tightly controlled by calpastatin. This study employed transgenic mice over-expressing calpastatin to investigate the role of calpain in doxorubicin-induced cardiotoxicity.
Methods and Results: Doxorubicin treatment decreased calpain activities in cultured neonatal mouse cardiomyocytes and in vivo mouse hearts. Over-expression of calpastatin or incubation with pharmacological calpain inhibitors enhanced caspase-3 activity and DNA fragmentation in both neonatal and adult cardiomyocytes induced by doxorubicin. Inhibition of calpain also induced down-regulation of phosphorylated protein kinase B (AKT, Thr308), and a concomitant reduction in glycogen synthase kinase-3beta (GSK-3β) phosphorylation (Ser9) in doxorubicin-treated cardiomyocytes. Blocking AKT further increased doxorubicin-induced cardiac injuries, suggesting the effects of calpain inhibition may be mediated by inactivating the AKT/GSK-3β signaling. In an in vivo model of doxorubicin-induced cardiotoxicity, over-expression of calpastatin decreased calpain activities and exacerbated myocardial dysfunction as assessed by echocardiography and hemodynamic measurement in transgenic mice (C57BL/6) 5 days after doxorubicin injection. The five-day mortality was higher in transgenic mice (29.16%) compared with their wild-type littermates (8%) after doxorubicin treatment.
Conclusions: Over-expression of calpastatin enhances doxorubicin-induced cardiac injuries through inhibiting calpain and compromising AKT survival signaling. Thus, calpains may protect cardiomyocytes against doxorubicin-induced cardiotoxicity.
- © 2012 by American Heart Association, Inc.