In order to bring you the best possible user experience, this site uses Javascript. If you are seeing this message, it is likely that the Javascript option in your browser is disabled. For optimal viewing of this site, please ensure that Javascript is enabled for your browser.

Member Benefit

This content is only available year-round to ESC Professional Members, Fellows of the ESC, and Young Combined Members

Cancer drugs induce functional and structural impairment in adult cardiomyocytes.

Session Poster Session 2

Speaker Claudia Altomare

Event : ESC Congress 2019

  • Topic : basic science
  • Sub-topic : Cardiac Biology and Physiology
  • Session type : Poster Session

Authors : C Altomare (Lugano,CH), V Biemmi (Lugano,CH), E Torre (Milano,IT), M Rocchetti (Milano,IT), M Ferrandi (Milano,IT), N Pernigoni (Lugano,CH), L Barile (Lugano,CH), G Milano (Lugano,CH), G Vassalli (Lugano,CH)

C. Altomare1 , V. Biemmi1 , E. Torre2 , M. Rocchetti2 , M. Ferrandi2 , N. Pernigoni1 , L. Barile1 , G. Milano1 , G. Vassalli1 , 1Cardiocentro Ticino - Lugano - Switzerland , 2University of Milano-Bicocca - Milano - Italy ,

Basic Science - Cardiac Biology and Physiology

European Heart Journal ( 2019 ) 40 ( Supplement ), 924

Introduction: The addition of anti-human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2; ErbB2) monoclonal antibody Trastuzumab (TRZ) to Doxorubicin (DOXO) chemotherapy is associated with a synergistic increase in cardiac toxicity. While previous studies have addressed the toxicity of both agents on isolated cardiomyocytes (CMs), little is known regarding this process in vivo, especially with respect to electrophysiological changes.

Purpose: To investigate electrical and structural changes in LV and RV CMs using an in vivo rat model of DOXO/TRZ cardiotoxicity.

Methods: Rats received 6 IP injections of either DOXO or TRZ over a 2-week period, or 6 doses of DOXO followed by 6 doses of TRZ (COMBO), or saline as a control. In-vivo echocardiography was performed. Electrical activity and Ca2+ handling were assessed in LV and RV CMs from rat hearts. Single cell patch-clamp and field stimulation experiments were performed. Spontaneous sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ release events (Ca2+ sparks) were recorded at x100 magnification in line-scan mode (sampling rate 0.7 kHz) from 2 μM Fluo4-AM loaded CMs. To assess T-tubular disarray, CMs were incubated with di-3-ANEPPDHQ and periodic component was quantified by Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) analysis of confocal microscopy images.

Results: DOXO, and to a greater extent COMBO treatment was associated with significant increases in both LV end-systolic and end-diastolic volumes, and decreases in LVEF and fractional shortening. By contrast, TRZ alone merely increased LV end-systolic volume. Electrophysiological studies showed increases in action potential duration (APD), beat-to-beat variability of repolarization (BVR), delayed after depolarizations (DADs), and Ca2+-sparks in both DOXO and COMBO groups. Stimulated intracellular Ca2+ transients (1,2 and 4 Hz) showed significant changes with respect to time to peak, tau decay, amplitude, and fractional release in the DOXO group. These changes were associated with a significant downregulation of sarco/endoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ ATPase pump (SERCA) expression. From a structural viewpoint, these changes were associated with T-tubular disarray in the DOXO and COMBO groups.

Conclusions: DOXO, and to a greater extent COMBO treatment (but not TRZ alone) cause LV dysfunction in vivo. Moreover, both DOXO and COMBO treatments, but not TRZ alone, induce electrophysiological abnormalities and both structural and functional changes in the sarcoplasmic reticulum. These findings provide novel insights into the cellular mechanisms of CM dysfunction and arrhythmias associated with combined DOXO/TRZ therapy.

Get your access to resources

Join now
  • 1ESC Professional Members – access all ESC Congress resources 
  • 2ESC Association Members (Ivory, Silver, Gold) – access your Association’s resources
  • 3Under 40 or in training - with a Combined Membership, access all resources
Join now
logo esc

Our mission: To reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease

Who we are