Cancer patients with diabetes have an increasing risk of Dox-induced cardiotoxicity. Despite previous studies reporting benefits of dapagliflozin on the cardiovascular system, it remains unknown whether dapagliflozin has a cardioprotective effect in cancer patients with diabetes. We aimed to investigate the potential of dapagliflozin for preventing doxorubicin (Dox)-induced cardiotoxicity. Using Taiwan National Health Insurance Database, the incidence of heart failure of cancer patients with or without diabetes was investigated. Streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic rats were pretreated with oral dapagliflozin for 6 weeks followed by Dox for 4 weeks via intraperitoneal injection. Sequential echocardiography was applied to assess cardiac function. For in vitro analysis, cardiomyocytes cultured in high glucose were treated with dapagliflozin at 10 μM and subsequently exposed to Dox at 1 μM. Apoptosis and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress-related protein expression were measured. Among the studied patients, those with diabetes had a higher risk of major adverse cardiovascular events including the development of heart failure. In diabetic rats, dapagliflozin reduced cardiac fibrosis and significantly improved cardiac function. Dapagliflozin effectively inhibited Dox-induced apoptosis and reactive oxygen species in cardiomyocytes under high glucose. Mechanistically, we showed that dapagliflozin decreased the cardiac expression of Bax and cleaved caspase 3 but increased Bcl-2. Dapagliflozin also significantly reduced ER stress-associated proteins including GRP78, PERK, eIF-2α, ATF-4, and CHOP. Our study revealed for the first time that dapagliflozin mitigated Dox-induced cardiomyocyte apoptosis in diabetes. These results indicate that dapagliflozin could be useful for preventing cardiotoxicity in diabetic cancer patients receiving Dox treatment.
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