Adriamycin cardiomyopathy: Implications of cellular changes in a canine model with mild impairment of left ventricular function
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The present study has examined early cellular effects of chronic adriamycin administration to dogs using a protocol (1 mg/kg/week to a total cumulative dose of 240 mg/m2) producing significant but small reductions in ejection fraction and stroke volume as determined echocardiographically prior to the development of clinical or radiological manifestations of heart failure. At this early phase of cardiomyopathy, significant reduction (P less than 0.05) in sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca2+, K+-ATPase was observed without any change in mitochondrial, lysosomal or sarcolemmal marker enzymes. Myocardial calcium (P less than 0.01) and glutathione (P less than 0.001) levels were increased significantly. Detailed analysis of myocardial phospholipid profiles failed to show any significant differences between control and treated dogs. In contrast, red cell membranes showed increased phosphatidylcholine (PC) and decreased phosphatidylserine (PS) contents, resulting in a significant increase in PC/PS ratio (P less than 0.05). No significant changes were detected in activities of catalase, superoxide dismutase or glutathione peroxidase in erythrocytes or myocardial tissue from control and adriamycin-treated animals. A significant (P less than 0.05) elevation in plasma sialic acid was observed following adriamycin treatment. Our results suggest that early adriamycin-induced damage is unlikely to result from alterations in cellular processes protecting tissues against oxidant injury. Regression analysis indicated that, of the various abnormalities observed, only the elevated myocardial calcium levels and the increases in plasma sialic acid correlated with the degree of myocardial functional impairment. Our findings suggest the presence of sarcolemmal alterations in Ca2+ handling in early adriamycin-induced myocardial injury and indicate that measurement of plasma sialic acid should be further investigated as a possible noninvasive indicator of impending adriamycin cardiotoxicity.
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