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Circulation. 1994 Jun;89(6):2829-35.

Probucol promotes endogenous antioxidants and provides protection against adriamycin-induced cardiomyopathy in rats.

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Division of Cardiovascular Sciences, St Boniface General Hospital Research Centre, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.



The potential usefulness of adriamycin (ADR) is restricted because of its cardiotoxic side effects. Since free radicals and lipid peroxidation are suggested to be involved in ADR cardiomyopathy, we examined the beneficial effects of probucol, a lipid-lowering drug with strong antioxidant properties.


ADR was administered to rats in six equal intraperitoneal injections over a period of 2 weeks (cumulative dose of 15 mg/kg). After a 3-week posttreatment period, cardiomyopathy and congestive heart failure were characterized by ascites, congested liver, depressed cardiac function, elevated left ventricular end-diastolic pressure, and myocardial cell damage. Myocardial glutathione peroxidase (GSHPx) activity was decreased, and lipid peroxidation was increased. Probucol (cumulative dose, 60 mg/kg IP) was administered in six equal injections over a 2-week period on days alternating with ADR treatment. Probucol significantly attenuated the myocardial effects of ADR, improved left ventricular function, and lowered mortality as well as the amount of ascites. Treatment with probucol was also accompanied by an increase in myocardial GSHPx and superoxide dismutase activities, with a concomitant decrease in lipid peroxidation.


These data provide evidence that ADR cardiomyopathy is associated with an antioxidant deficit. Improved cardiac function resulting from treatment with probucol may be related to the maintenance of the antioxidant status of the heart. The study suggests potential usefulness of antioxidant (probucol) therapy in ADR cardiomyopathy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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