The cardioprotective role of probucol against anthracycline and trastuzumab-mediated cardiotoxicity

J Am Soc Echocardiogr. 2011 Jun;24(6):699-705. doi: 10.1016/j.echo.2011.01.018. Epub 2011 Feb 24.


Objective: Although the combination of doxorubicin (Dox) and trastuzumab (Trz) reduces breast cancer progression and recurrence, it is limited by significant cardiotoxic side effects. Little is known about the utility of antioxidants in the prevention of this drug-induced cardiomyopathy. The aim of the study was to determine whether the antioxidant probucol (Prob) would be useful in attenuating Dox and Trz-mediated cardiotoxicity.

Methods: A total of 114 mice were randomized to treatment with Trz, Dox, or Dox+Trz. Within each arm, mice received prophylactic treatment with placebo or Prob. Serial murine echocardiography with tissue Doppler imaging was performed daily for 10 days. At 10 days posttreatment, the hearts were removed for histopathologic and Western blot analyses.

Results: Left ventricular cavity dimensions and systolic parameters were preserved in mice prophylactically treated with Prob after the administration of Dox+Trz. Although the combination of Dox+Trz demonstrated >80% mortality at day 5, prophylactic treatment with Prob reduced mortality to 40% at day 10. There was decreased histologic evidence of cardiac damage and reduced apoptosis due to Dox+Trz in mice pretreated with Prob.

Conclusion: The cardiotoxic effects of Dox+Trz are partially attenuated by the prophylactic administration of the antioxidant Prob.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Animals
  • Anthracyclines / toxicity*
  • Antibiotics, Antineoplastic / toxicity*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / toxicity*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Antineoplastic Agents / toxicity*
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Blotting, Western
  • Breast Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Cardiomyopathies / chemically induced*
  • Cardiomyopathies / diagnostic imaging
  • Cardiomyopathies / prevention & control*
  • Echocardiography, Doppler
  • Female
  • Mice
  • Probucol / pharmacology*
  • Random Allocation
  • Survival Rate
  • Trastuzumab


  • Anthracyclines
  • Antibiotics, Antineoplastic
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Antioxidants
  • Trastuzumab
  • Probucol