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Molecular Endocrinology

Year: 2010  |  Volume: 24  |  Issue: 7  |  Page No.: 1338 - 1348

Androgen Receptor Counteracts Doxorubicin-Induced Cardiotoxicity in Male Mice

Y Ikeda, K. i Aihara, M Akaike, T Sato, K Ishikawa, T Ise, S Yagi, T Iwase, Y Ueda, S Yoshida, H Azuma, K Walsh, T Tamaki, S Kato and T. Matsumoto

Abstract

Doxorubicin (Dox) has been used as a potent anticancer agent, but serious cardiotoxicity precludes its use in a wide range of patients. We have reported that the androgen-androgen receptor (AR) system plays important roles in cardiac growth and protection from angiotensin II-induced cardiac remodeling. The present study was undertaken to clarify whether the androgen-AR system exerts a cardioprotective effect against Dox-induced cardiotoxicity. Male AR knockout (ARKO) and age-matched littermate male wild-type (WT) mice at 25 wk of age were given ip injections of Dox (20 mg/kg) or a vehicle. The survival rate and left ventricular function in Dox-treated male ARKO mice were reduced compared with those in Dox-treated male WT mice. Electron microscopic study showed prominent vacuole formation of myocardial mitochondria in Dox-treated male ARKO mice. Cardiac oxidative stress and apoptosis of cardiomyocytes were increased more prominently by Dox treatment in male ARKO mice than in male WT mice. In addition, Dox-induced reduction in the expression of cardiac mitochondria transcription factor A (Tfam) and phosphorylation of serine-threonine kinase (Akt) was more pronounced in male ARKO mice than in male WT mice. In cardiac myoblast cells, testosterone up-regulated Akt phosphorylation and Tfam expression and exerted an antiapoptotic effect against Dox-induced cardiotoxicity. Collectively, the results demonstrate that Dox-induced cardiotoxicity is aggravated in male ARKO mice via exacerbation of mitochondrial damage and superoxide generation, leading to enhanced apoptosis of cardiomyocytes. Thus, the androgen-AR system is thought to counteract Dox-induced cardiotoxicity partly through activation of the Akt pathway and up-regulation of Tfam to protect cardiomyocytes from mitochondrial damage and apoptosis.

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