The protective effect of caffeic acid phenethyl ester against cyclosporine A-induced cardiotoxicity in rats

Toxicology. 2005 Sep 1;212(2-3):155-64. doi: 10.1016/j.tox.2005.04.020.


Cyclosporine A (CsA) is the immunosuppressor, which is most frequently used in transplant surgery and in the treatment of autoimmune diseases. Oxidative stress has been considered as one of the possible mechanisms of CsA-induced cardiotoxicity. The present investigation examines the ability of caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE), which is an active component of propolis extracts, as a natural antioxidant to protect against CsA-induced oxidative stress and cardiotoxicity. CsA cardiotoxicity was induced by subcutaneous injection of CsA at a dose of 15 mg/kg/body weight daily for 21 days in rats. Cardiotoxicity was evaluated by morphological and biochemical studies. CsA treated rats showed degenerative changes with cardiac fibrosis localized around the fibers. These latters were disorganised and the network was disappeared. The ROS production was increased whereas cytochrome-c-oxidase decreased. The expression and levels of matrix metalloproteinase 2 (MMP2) were increased whereas those of its inhibitor were downregulated. CAPE subcutaneous administration (15 micromol/kg/day) improved cardiac cytoarchitecture, decreased the levels and the expression of MMP2, and increased those of TIMP2 proteins. Moreover, it increased cytochrome-c-oxidase activity and decreased ROS production. These results suggest that CAPE could have protective effect against CsA-induced cardiotoxicity.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Caffeic Acids / pharmacology*
  • Cyclosporine*
  • Electron Transport Complex IV / metabolism
  • Heart Diseases / chemically induced
  • Heart Diseases / metabolism
  • Heart Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Immunosuppressive Agents*
  • Male
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 2 / metabolism
  • Myocardium / enzymology
  • Myocardium / metabolism
  • Phenylethyl Alcohol / analogs & derivatives*
  • Phenylethyl Alcohol / pharmacology
  • Protective Agents / pharmacology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
  • Tissue Inhibitor of Metalloproteinase-2 / metabolism


  • Caffeic Acids
  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Protective Agents
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Tissue Inhibitor of Metalloproteinase-2
  • Cyclosporine
  • Electron Transport Complex IV
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 2
  • caffeic acid phenethyl ester
  • Phenylethyl Alcohol