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Biomed Pharmacother. 2020 Feb;122:109547. doi: 10.1016/j.biopha.2019.109547. Epub 2019 Dec 30.

Cardamonin protects against doxorubicin-induced cardiotoxicity in mice by restraining oxidative stress and inflammation associated with Nrf2 signaling.

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Emergency Department of the Second Affiliated Hospital of Air Force Medical University, Xi'an, 710000, China.
Department of Critical Care Medicine, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Xi 'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an, 710000, China.
Department of Critical Care Medicine, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Xi 'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an, 710000, China. Electronic address:


The clinical application of doxorubicin (DOX) for cancer treatment is limited due to its cardiotoxicity. However, the basic pathophysiological molecular mechanisms underlying DOX-induced cardiomyopathy have not yet been completely clarified, and the disease-specific therapeutic strategies are lacking. The aim of the present study was to investigate the potential cardioprotective effect of cardamonin (CAR), a flavone found in Alpinia plant, on DOX-induced cardiotoxicity in a mouse model. At first, in DOX-treated mouse cardiomyocytes, CAR showed significantly cytoprotective effects through elevating nuclear factor erythroid-2 related factor 2 (Nrf2) signaling, and reducing the degradation of Nrf2. This process then improved the anti-oxidant system, as evidenced by the up-regulated expression levels of haem oxygenase-1 (HO1), NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase 1 (NQO1), glutamate-cysteine ligase modifier subunit (GCLM), superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione (GSH) and catalase (CAT). In contrast, DOX-induced increases in malondialdehyde (MDA) and reactive oxygen species (ROS) were highly inhibited by CAR treatments. Additionally, DOX-induced apoptosis and inflammatory response in cardiomyocytes were diminished by CAR through reducing the Caspase-3 and nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) signaling pathways, respectively. Then, in the DOX-induced animal model with cardiotoxicity, we confirmed that through improving Nrf2 signaling, CAR markedly suppressed oxidative stress, apoptosis and inflammatory response in hearts of mice, improving cardiac function eventually. Together, our findings demonstrated that CAR activated Nrf2-related cytoprotective system, and protected the heart from oxidative damage, apoptosis and inflammatory injury, suggesting that CAR might be a potential therapeutic strategy in the prevention of DOX-associated myocardiopathy.


Apoptosis; Cardamonin (CAR); Doxorubicin (DOX); Inflammation; Nrf2

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