This study aimed to evaluate if Simvastatin can reduce, and/or prevent, Doxorubicin (Doxo)-induced cardiotoxicity. H9c2 cells were treated with Simvastatin (10 mu M) for 4 h and then Doxo (1 mu M) was added, and the effects on oxidative stress, calcium homeostasis, and apoptosis were evaluated after 20 h. Furthermore, we evaluated the effects of Simvastatin and Doxo co-treatment on Connexin 43 (Cx43) expression and localization, since this transmembrane protein forming gap junctions is widely involved in cardioprotection. Cytofluorimetric analysis showed that Simvastatin co-treatment significantly reduced Doxo-induced cytosolic and mitochondrial ROS overproduction, apoptosis, and cytochrome c release. Spectrofluorimetric analysis performed by means of Fura2 showed that Simvastatin co-treatment reduced calcium levels stored in mitochondria and restored cytosolic calcium storage. Western blot, immunofluorescence, and cytofluorimetric analyses showed that Simvastatin co-treatment significantly reduced Doxo-induced mitochondrial Cx43 over-expression and significantly increased the membrane levels of Cx43 phosphorylated on Ser368. We hypothesized that the reduced expression of mitochondrial Cx43 could justify the reduced levels of calcium stored in mitochondria and the consequent induction of apoptosis observed in Simvastatin co-treated cells. Moreover, the increased membrane levels of Cx43 phosphorylated on Ser368, which is responsible for the closed conformational state of the gap junction, let us to hypothesize that Simvastatin leads to cell-to-cell communication interruption to block the propagation of Doxo-induced harmful stimuli. Based on these results, we can conclude that Simvastatin could be a good adjuvant in Doxo anticancer therapy. Indeed, we confirmed its antioxidant and antiapoptotic activity, and, above all, we highlighted that Simvastatin interferes with expression and cellular localization of Cx43 that is widely involved in cardioprotection.

Simvastatin Reduces Doxorubicin-Induced Cardiotoxicity: Effects beyond Its Antioxidant Activity

Pecoraro, Michela;Marzocco, Stefania;Belvedere, Raffaella;Petrella, Antonello;Franceschelli, Silvia;Popolo, Ada
2023-01-01

Abstract

This study aimed to evaluate if Simvastatin can reduce, and/or prevent, Doxorubicin (Doxo)-induced cardiotoxicity. H9c2 cells were treated with Simvastatin (10 mu M) for 4 h and then Doxo (1 mu M) was added, and the effects on oxidative stress, calcium homeostasis, and apoptosis were evaluated after 20 h. Furthermore, we evaluated the effects of Simvastatin and Doxo co-treatment on Connexin 43 (Cx43) expression and localization, since this transmembrane protein forming gap junctions is widely involved in cardioprotection. Cytofluorimetric analysis showed that Simvastatin co-treatment significantly reduced Doxo-induced cytosolic and mitochondrial ROS overproduction, apoptosis, and cytochrome c release. Spectrofluorimetric analysis performed by means of Fura2 showed that Simvastatin co-treatment reduced calcium levels stored in mitochondria and restored cytosolic calcium storage. Western blot, immunofluorescence, and cytofluorimetric analyses showed that Simvastatin co-treatment significantly reduced Doxo-induced mitochondrial Cx43 over-expression and significantly increased the membrane levels of Cx43 phosphorylated on Ser368. We hypothesized that the reduced expression of mitochondrial Cx43 could justify the reduced levels of calcium stored in mitochondria and the consequent induction of apoptosis observed in Simvastatin co-treated cells. Moreover, the increased membrane levels of Cx43 phosphorylated on Ser368, which is responsible for the closed conformational state of the gap junction, let us to hypothesize that Simvastatin leads to cell-to-cell communication interruption to block the propagation of Doxo-induced harmful stimuli. Based on these results, we can conclude that Simvastatin could be a good adjuvant in Doxo anticancer therapy. Indeed, we confirmed its antioxidant and antiapoptotic activity, and, above all, we highlighted that Simvastatin interferes with expression and cellular localization of Cx43 that is widely involved in cardioprotection.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11386/4825751
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