Intracellular distribution of peroxynitrite during doxorubicin cardiomyopathy: evidence for selective impairment of myofibrillar creatine kinase

Br J Pharmacol. 2002 Feb;135(3):581-8. doi: 10.1038/sj.bjp.0704495.


Cardiac peroxynitrite and protein nitration are increased during doxorubicin cardiotoxicity, but the intracellular targets and functional consequences have not been defined. We investigated the intracellular distribution of protein nitration during doxorubicin cardiotoxicity in mice. Following in vivo cardiac function assessments by echocardiography, cardiac tissues were prepared for immunohistochemistry and electron microscopy 5 days after doxorubicin (20 mg kg(-1)) or vehicle control. Increased cardiac 3-nitrotyrosine was observed using light microscopy in doxorubicin treated animals. Immunogold electron microscopy (55,000x) revealed increased myofibrillar and mitochondrial 3-nitrotyrosine levels following doxorubicin, but cellular 3-nitrotyrosine density was 2 fold higher in myofibrils. We therefore investigated the actions of peroxynitrite on intact cardiac contractile apparatus. Skinned ventricular trabeculae were exposed to physiologically relevant peroxynitrite concentrations (50 or 300 nM) for 1 h, then Ca(2+) induced contractile responses were measured in the presence of ATP (4 mM) or phosphocreatine (12 mM) as high energy phosphate supplier. ATP maximal force generation was unaltered after 50 nM peroxynitrite, but phosphocreatine/ATP response was reduced (0.99+/-0.63 vs 1.59+/-0.11), suggesting selective inactivation of myofibrillar creatine kinase (MM-CK). Reduction of ATP maximal force was observed at 300 nM peroxynitrite and phosphocreatine/ATP response was further reduced (0.64+/-0.30). Western blotting showed concentration dependent nitration of MM-CK in treated trabeculae. Similarly, cardiac tissues from doxorubicin treated mice demonstrated increased nitration and inactivation of MM-CK compared to controls. These results demonstrate that peroxynitrite-related protein nitration are mechanistic events in doxorubicin cardiomyopathy and that the cardiac myofibril is an important oxidative target in this setting. Furthermore, MM-CK may be a uniquely vulnerable target to peroxynitrite in vivo.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / toxicity
  • Cardiomyopathies / chemically induced*
  • Cardiomyopathies / enzymology*
  • Cardiomyopathies / pathology
  • Creatine Kinase / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Creatine Kinase / metabolism*
  • Doxorubicin / toxicity*
  • Intracellular Fluid / drug effects
  • Intracellular Fluid / enzymology
  • Intracellular Fluid / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Myofibrils / drug effects
  • Myofibrils / enzymology*
  • Myofibrils / pathology
  • Peroxynitrous Acid / analysis
  • Peroxynitrous Acid / metabolism*
  • Peroxynitrous Acid / pharmacology
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Left / chemically induced
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Left / enzymology
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Left / pathology


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Peroxynitrous Acid
  • Doxorubicin
  • Creatine Kinase