Comparison of doxorubicin- and MEN 10755-induced long-term progressive cardiotoxicity in the rat

J Cardiovasc Pharmacol. 2000 Jan;35(1):100-8. doi: 10.1097/00005344-200001000-00013.


The delayed functional cardiotoxic effects of repeated treatment with the new disaccharide anthracycline MEN 10755 and doxorubicin (1.5 mg/kg, i.v., once a week for 5 consecutive weeks) were investigated in the rat. Changes were assessed (2 days and 4 and 13 weeks after the last treatment) in ECG morphology, hemodynamics, in vivo left ventricular contractile responses to beta-adrenergic stimulation, and histopathology of both atria and ventricles. Doxorubicin induced significant and progressive prolongation of the QalphaT interval starting 2 days after suspension of treatment. At 4 and 13 weeks after the last treatment, the ECG showed a further progressive and significant impairment. MEN 10755 induced alterations similar in nature but of lesser severity compared with doxorubicin. In addition, MEN 10755-induced prolongation of the QalphaT interval was not progressive, being similar at 4 and 13 weeks after the last treatment. Although the hemodynamics were only slightly affected by both anthracyclines, a nearly complete ablation of isoprenaline-induced enhancement of ventricular function was observed 4 and 13 weeks after the last treatment with doxorubicin, whereas only mild, if any, reduction was detected in rats receiving MEN 10755. Histopathologic investigations indicated that both anthracyclines produced qualitatively similar alterations in ventricular myocytes. However, only with doxorubicin did these changes show a progression with a further significant worsening at 13 weeks as compared with 4 weeks after the last treatment. In addition, atrial lesions were evident in doxorubicin-treated rats, but not in rats receiving MEN 10755. In conclusion, an equimyelotoxic regimen of MEN 10755 produced, as compared with doxorubicin, lesser ECG alterations, smaller impairment of the ventricular response to adrenergic stimulation, and less severe myocyte lesions. Unlike doxorubicin, the histologic and functional cardiotoxic effects induced by MEN 10755 were not progressive. Further investigations are warranted to define the pharmacodynamic and/or pharmacokinetic mechanism(s) underlying the different cardiotoxic profile exhibited by the two anthracyclines.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibiotics, Antineoplastic / toxicity*
  • Blood Cell Count / drug effects
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Disaccharides / toxicity*
  • Doxorubicin / analogs & derivatives*
  • Doxorubicin / toxicity
  • Electrocardiography / drug effects
  • Heart Diseases / chemically induced*
  • Heart Diseases / pathology
  • Heart Diseases / physiopathology
  • Heart Rate / drug effects
  • Hemodynamics / drug effects
  • Male
  • Myocardium / pathology
  • Organ Size / drug effects
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Sympathetic Nervous System / drug effects
  • Sympathetic Nervous System / physiology
  • Time Factors


  • Antibiotics, Antineoplastic
  • Disaccharides
  • Doxorubicin
  • sabarubicin