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Free Radic Biol Med. 2007 Jun 15;42(12):1818-25. Epub 2007 Mar 12.

Phenylbutyrate, a histone deacetylase inhibitor, protects against Adriamycin-induced cardiac injury.

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Graduate Center for Toxicology, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40506, USA.


Cardiac injury is a major complication for oxidative-stress-generating anticancer agents exemplified by Adriamycin (ADR). Recently, several histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACIs) including phenylbutyrate (PBA) have shown promise in the treatment of cancer with little known toxicity to normal tissues. PBA has been shown to protect against oxidative stress in normal tissues. Here, we examined whether PBA might protect heart against ADR toxicity in a mouse model. The mice were i.p. injected with ADR (20 mg/kg). PBA (400 mg/kg/day) was i.p. injected 1 day before and daily after the ADR injection for 2 days. We found that PBA significantly decreased the ADR-associated elevation of serum lactate dehydrogenase and creatine kinase activities and diminished ADR-induced ultrastructural damages of cardiac tissue by more than 70%. Importantly, PBA completely rescued ADR-caused reduction of cardiac functions exemplified by ejection fraction and fraction shortening, and increased cardiac manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD) protein and activity. Our results reveal a previously unrecognized role of HDACIs in protecting against ADR-induced cardiac injury and suggest that PBA may exert its cardioprotective effect, in part, by the increase of MnSOD. Thus, combining HDACIs with ADR could add a new mechanism to fight cancer while simultaneously decrease ADR-induced cardiotoxicity.

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