The Effects of Neuropeptide Y Overexpression on the Mouse Model of Doxorubicin-Induced Cardiotoxicity

Cardiovasc Toxicol. 2020 Jun;20(3):328-338. doi: 10.1007/s12012-019-09557-2.


Doxorubicin is a potent anticancer drug with cardiotoxicity hampering its use. Neuropeptide Y (NPY) is the most abundant neuropeptide in the heart and a co-transmitter of the sympathetic nervous system that plays a role in cardiac diseases. The aim of this work was to study the impact of NPY on doxorubicin-induced cardiotoxicity. Transgenic mice overexpressing NPY in noradrenergic neurons (NPY-OEDβH) and wild-type mice were treated with a single dose of doxorubicin. Doxorubicin caused cardiotoxicity in both genotypes as demonstrated by decreased weight gain, tendency to reduced ejection fraction, and changes in the expression of several genes relevant to cardiac pathology. Doxorubicin resulted in a tendency to lower ejection fraction in NPY-OEDβH mice more than in wild-type mice. In addition, gain in the whole body lean mass gain was decreased only in NPY-OEDβH mice, suggesting a more severe impact of doxorubicin in this genotype. The effects of doxorubicin on genes expressed in the heart were similar between NPY-OEDβH and wild-type mice. The results demonstrate that doxorubicin at a relatively low dose caused significant cardiotoxicity. There were differences between NPY-OEDβH and wild-type mice in their responses to doxorubicin that suggest NPY to increase susceptibility to cardiotoxicity. This may point to the therapeutic implications as suggested for NPY system in other cardiovascular diseases.

Keywords: Cardiotoxicity model; Doxorubicin; Mouse model; Neuropeptide Y.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adrenergic Neurons / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Body Composition
  • Calcium Signaling
  • Cardiotoxicity
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Doxorubicin*
  • Heart Diseases / chemically induced
  • Heart Diseases / genetics
  • Heart Diseases / metabolism*
  • Heart Diseases / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Myocytes, Cardiac / metabolism*
  • Myocytes, Cardiac / pathology
  • Neuropeptide Y / genetics
  • Neuropeptide Y / metabolism*
  • Stroke Volume
  • Up-Regulation
  • Ventricular Function, Left
  • Ventricular Remodeling
  • Weight Gain


  • Neuropeptide Y
  • Doxorubicin