Objective: To investigate the preventive and curative role of ascorbic acid on doxorubicin (dox)-induced myocardial toxicity in rats.
Materials and methods: Animals were divided into five groups of six animals each. Group I served as normal control and received saline 5 ml/kg/day intraperitoneal (i.p.) for a period of 15 days. Group II animals received ascorbic acid 20 mg/kg per oral (p.o.) for 15 days as a pretreatment control (PR). Group III animals received dox 2.5 mg/kg body weight (b.w.), i.p., in six equal injections for two weeks for a total cumulative dose of 15 mg/kg b.w. Group IV animals received ascorbic acid 20 mg/kg p.o. for 15 days as a pretreatment followed by dox 2.5 mg/kg b.w., i.p., in six equal injections for two weeks for a total cumulative dose of 15 mg/kg body weight. Group V animals received dox 2.5 mg/kg b.w., i.p., in six equal injections for two weeks for a total cumulative dose of 15 mg/kg b.w. followed by ascorbic acid 20 mg/kg p.o for 15 days as post-treatment control (CR). The biochemical parameters such as tissue glutathione (GSH), malondialdehyde (MDA), catalase (CAT), and superoxide dismutase (SOD), and enzyme biomarkers such as creatine phosphokinase (CPK), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) were monitored.
Results: Pretreatment with ascorbic acid (20 mg/kg p.o.) significantly protected the myocardium from the toxic effect of dox (PR), by increasing the levels of antioxidant enzymes such as GSH, SOD, and CAT toward normal and decreased the levels of MDA, CPK, LDH, AST, and ALT as compared with dox-treated rats. Post-treatment with ascorbic acid to dox-treated group (CR) significantly increased the levels of tissue GSH, SOD, CAT and significantly decreased the level of MDA as compared with dox-treated group. It also reduced the severity of cellular damage of the myocardium as confirmed by histopathology. The restoration of the endogenous antioxidant system clearly depicts that ascorbic acid produced its protective effect by scavenging the reactive oxygen species.
Conclusion: The results obtained in this study provide evidence for the usefulness of the ascorbic acid as a cardioprotective agent.
Keywords: Ascorbic acid; cardiotoxicity; doxorubicin; free radicals.