, Volume 61, Issue 1, pp 131-136
Date: 25 Feb 2011

Acrolein, an Environmental Toxin, Induces Cardiomyocyte Apoptosis via Elevated Intracellular Calcium and Free Radicals

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Acrolein, an unsaturated aldehyde, is an environmental toxin known to inhibit mitochondrial electron transport chain in brain and induce lipid peroxidation and apoptosis. However, the nature of the effects of acrolein on cardiac function and myocardium is not known. The objective of this study is to examine whether acrolein induces apoptosis in cardiomyocytes and alters cytosolic calcium concentration and the intracellular oxygen free-radical levels. Adult mouse cardiomyocytes exposed to 1 μmol/l of acrolein showed a marked increase in the intracellular oxygen free-radicals and calcium concentration, by 12- and 2-fold, respectively, compared to the resting value. Moreover, the cardiomyocyte viability decreased significantly in a dose-dependent manner by treatment with 25, 50, and 100 μmol/l of acrolein compared to controls. Morphological changes and DNA laddering typical of apoptosis were found in acrolein-exposed cardiomyocytes. Our finding suggested that acrolein caused apoptotic death of adult mice cardiomyocytes by increasing intracellular oxygen free-radicals and calcium concentration.