Amelioration of doxorubicin‑induced cardiotoxicity by resveratrol

Mol Med Rep. 2014 Sep;10(3):1455-60. doi: 10.3892/mmr.2014.2384. Epub 2014 Jul 15.


Doxorubicin (DOX), is a highly active anticancer agent, but its clinical use is limited by its severe cardiotoxic side‑effects associated with increased oxidative stress and apoptosis. Resveratrol (RSVL) is a naturally occurring polyphenolic compound (trans-3,5,4'-trihydroxystilbene) found primarily in root extracts of the oriental plant Polygonum cuspidatum and of numerous additional plant species. It has recently been shown that RSVL has a number of beneficial effects in different biological systems, which include anti-oxidant, antineoplastic, anticarcinogenic, cardioprotective and antiviral effects. In this study, we examined whether RSVL has protective effects against DOX‑induced free radical production and cardiotoxicity in male rats. The tested dose of DOX (20 mg/kg) caused a significant increase in the serum activities of the cardiac enzymes lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and creatine phosphokinase (CPK) and the level of malondialdehyde (MDA) in the heart tissue. However, there was a significant decrease in the glutathione level in the heart tissue. Simultaneous treatment of rats with RSVL [10 mg/kg, intraperitoneal (i.p.) injection] reduced the activity of LDH and CPK and significantly reduced MDA production in the heart. The total antioxidant capacity was increased following RSVL administration. Electron microscopy examination of the heart tissue showed that DOX treatment results in massive fragmentation and lysis of the myofibrils, and that mitochondria show either vacuolization or complete loss of the cristae. Simultaneous treatment with RSVL ameliorated the effect of DOX administration on cardiac tissue, with cardiomyocytes appearing normal compared to the control samples, and mitochondria retaining their normal structure.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Cardiotoxicity / drug therapy*
  • Creatine Kinase / blood
  • Doxorubicin / adverse effects*
  • Glutathione / metabolism
  • Heart / drug effects
  • L-Lactate Dehydrogenase / blood
  • Male
  • Malondialdehyde / metabolism
  • Myocytes, Cardiac / drug effects
  • Myocytes, Cardiac / metabolism
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Polyphenols / pharmacology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Resveratrol
  • Stilbenes / pharmacology*


  • Antioxidants
  • Plant Extracts
  • Polyphenols
  • Stilbenes
  • Malondialdehyde
  • Doxorubicin
  • L-Lactate Dehydrogenase
  • Creatine Kinase
  • Glutathione
  • Resveratrol