The clinical usage of doxorubicin (DOX), a potent anthracycline antineoplastic drug, is limited due to its cardiotoxicity. The aim of this study was to assess the possible cardioprotective effects of nerolidol (NERO) in a rat model of DOX-induced chronic cardiotoxicity and the underlying molecular mechanisms. DOX (2.5 mg/kg) was injected intraperitoneally once in a week for 5 weeks to induce chronic cardiotoxicity in male albino Wistar rats. The rats were treated with NERO (50 mg/kg, orally) 6 days a week for a duration of 5 weeks. DOX-injected rats showed a significant decline in cardiac function, elevated levels of serum cardiac marker enzymes, and enhanced oxidative stress markers along with altered PI3K/Akt and Nrf2/Keap1/HO-1 signaling pathways. DOX also triggered the activation of NF-κB/MAPK signaling and increased the levels/expression of proinflammatory cytokines (TNF-α, IL-6, and IL-1β) and expression of inflammatory mediators (iNOS and COX-2) in the heart. DOX activated NLRP3 inflammasome-mediated pyroptotic cell death along with fibrosis, mitochondrial dysfunction, DNA damage, and apoptosis in the myocardium. Additionally, histological studies, TUNEL staining, and myocardial lesions revealed structural alterations of the myocardium. NERO treatment showed considerable protective effects on the biochemical and molecular parameters studied. The findings demonstrate that NERO protects against DOX-induced chronic cardiotoxicity and the observed cardioprotective effects are attributed to its potent antioxidant and free radical scavenging properties.
- myocardial fibrosis
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)