JOURNAL ARTICLE

Exercise protects against doxorubicin-induced oxidative stress and proteolysis in skeletal muscle

Ashley J Smuder, Andreas N Kavazis, Kisuk Min, Scott K Powers
Journal of Applied Physiology 2011, 110 (4): 935-42
21310889
Doxorubicin (Dox) is a potent antitumor agent used in cancer treatment. Unfortunately, Dox is myotoxic and results in significant reductions in skeletal muscle mass and function. Complete knowledge of the mechanism(s) by which Dox induces toxicity in skeletal muscle is incomplete, but it is established that Dox-induced toxicity is associated with increased generation of reactive oxygen species and oxidative damage within muscle fibers. Since muscular exercise promotes the expression of numerous cytoprotective proteins (e.g., antioxidant enzymes, heat shock protein 72), we hypothesized that muscular exercise will attenuate Dox-induced damage in exercise-trained muscle fibers. To test this postulate, Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly assigned to the following groups: sedentary, exercise, sedentary with Dox, or exercise with Dox. Our results show increased oxidative stress and activation of cellular proteases (calpain and caspase-3) in skeletal muscle of animals treated with Dox. Importantly, our findings reveal that exercise can prevent the Dox-induced oxidative damage and protease activation in the trained muscle. This exercise-induced protection against Dox-induced toxicity may be due, at least in part, to an exercise-induced increase in muscle levels of antioxidant enzymes and heat shock protein 72. Together, these novel results demonstrate that muscular exercise is a useful countermeasure that can protect skeletal muscle against Dox treatment-induced oxidative stress and protease activation in skeletal muscles.

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