Key points: Doxorubicin induced functional deteriorations and elevations of USP7-related apoptotic/catabolic signalling in the senescent heart Resveratrol protects against doxorubicin-induced alterations through the restoration of SIRT1 deacetylase activity A compromised cardiac function is often seen in elderly cancer patients receiving doxorubicin therapy. The present study tested the hypothesis that acute intervention with resveratrol, a natural anti-oxidant found in grapes and red wine, reduces the cardiotoxicity of doxorubicin through restoration of sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) deacetylase activity, and attenuation of the catabolic/apoptotic pathways orchestrated by USP7, a p53 deubiquitinating protein, using young (aged 2 months) and old (aged 10 months) senescence-accelerated mice prone 8 (SAMP8). Animals were randomised to receive saline, doxorubicin, and doxorubicin in combination with resveratrol, in the presence or absence of SIRT1 inhibitors, sirtinol or EX527. Resveratrol alone, but not in combination with either of the SIRT1 inhibitors, suppressed the doxorubicin-induced impairment of cardiac systolic function in aged animals. Doxorubicin reduced SIRT1 deacetylase activity, and elevated proteasomal activity and USP7; it also increased the protein level of p300 and ubiquitinated proteins in hearts from aged SAMP8. These doxorubicin-induced alterations were prevented by resveratrol, whereas the protective action of resveratrol was antagonised by sirtinol and EX527. In young SAMP8 hearts, resveratrol attenuated the doxorubicin-induced increases in acetylation of Foxo1 and transactivation of MuRF-1, whereas these mitigations were not found after treatment with SIRT1 inhibitors. However, the protein contents of acetylated Foxo1 and MuRF-1 were not affected by any of the drugs studied in aged SAMP8 hearts. Resveratrol also ameliorated the augmentation of pro-apoptotic markers including p53, Bax, caspase 3 activity and apoptotic DNA fragmentation induced by doxorubicin in hearts from aged animals, whereas these reductions were diminished by combined treatment with SIRT1 inhibitors. These data demonstrate that resveratrol ameliorates doxorubicin-induced cardiotoxicity in aged hearts through the restoration of SIRT1 activity to attenuate USP7-related catabolic/pro-apoptotic signalling.
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