Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry

, Volume 442, Issue 1–2, pp 81–96 | Cite as

Mode of treatment governs curcumin response on doxorubicin-induced toxicity in cardiomyoblasts

  • Aditi Jain
  • Vibha Rani


Doxorubicin (Dox) is an effective anti-cancer drug with severe reported cardiotoxicity. Cardiovascular risks associated with present cancer therapeutics demand urgent attention. There has been a growing interest in naturally occurring compounds to improve the therapeutic index as well as prevent non-tumour tissues from sustaining chemotherapy-induced damages. In the present study, the effects of curcumin, a polyphenol isolated from Curcuma longa and well known for its anti-oxidative, anti-cancerous and anti-inflammatory properties, was studied in relation to the Dox-induced cardiotoxicity. As literature suggests conflicting role of curcumin in Dox-induced cardiotoxicity, concentration- and time-dependent studies were conducted to study the different curcumin effects. H9C2 cardiomyoblasts were used in the study and cell viability assays were done to study Dox-induced cellular death. Drug uptake assay for Dox was performed followed by cellular growth inhibition analysis by FACS Calibur. Morphological alterations, intracellular ROS levels and mitochondrial integrity were observed by fluorescent-based microscopic studies. Catalases and superoxide dismutase-inbuilt anti-oxidant enzyme activities were studied, and it was observed that Dox-dependent cardiotoxicity occurs through ROS overproduction by exaggerating the inbuilt anti-oxidant mechanism. Expression analysis for cell death and ROS markers—BCl2, Bax, SOD, catalase—was investigated by semi-quantitative RT-PCR, and the Dox-induced stress on cardiac cells was confirmed. Initiator and effector caspases activity analysis also confirmed these findings. Our study proposes that curcumin exerts time-dependent responses on Dox-induced cardiotoxicity, where parallel treatment potentiates and pre-treatment suppresses the Dox-induced toxicity in H9C2 cardiomyoblasts. In conclusion, pre-treatment of curcumin suppresses the Dox-induced cardiotoxicity and holds a great potential as future cardio-oncological therapeutics.


Anti-cancerous drug Doxorubicin Cardiotoxicity Curcumin Reactive oxygen species Anti-oxidant 



This work was supported by a research grant awarded to Dr. Vibha Rani by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Government of India (BT/PR3978/17/766/2011). We acknowledge the Department of Biotechnology, Govt. of India and Jaypee Institute of Information Technology, deemed to be University for providing the funds and infrastructural support. We also acknowledge Dr. Manish Sharma, Scientist D, Peptide and Proteomics Division, Defence Institute of Physiology and Allied Sciences (DIPAS), DRDO, Delhi, India, for providing FACS facility.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

There is no conflict of interest among the authors of the manuscript.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiotechnologyJaypee Institute of Information TechnologyNoidaIndia

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