Changes in mitochondrial dynamics have been recognized as being one of the mechanisms related to cardiotoxicity following a high cumulative dose of doxorubicin (DOX). A mitochondrial division inhibitor-1 (Mdivi-1) and fusion promoter (M1) have been shown to be cardioprotective in a variety of cardiovascular settings, however, their anticardiotoxic efficacy against DOX therapy remains unclear. We therefore investigated whether treatment with Mdivi-1 and M1 protects the heart against DOX-induced cardiotoxicity via mitochondria-targeted pathways. Male Wistar rats (n=40) received DOX (3 mg/kg, six doses, n=32) or 3% dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) in the normal saline solution (NSS) (n=8) as a control. DOX-injected rats were given one of four treatments beginning with the first DOX injection via intraperitoneal injection: 1) 3% DMSO in NSS (n=8), 2) Mdivi-1 (1.2 mg/kg per day, n=8), 3) M1 (2 mg/kg per day, n=8), and 4) Mdivi-1+M1 (n=8) for 30 days. Cardiac function, mitochondrial function, oxidative stress, myocardial injury, and protein expression associated with inflammation, autophagy, mitophagy, apoptosis, and mitochondrial dynamics were determined. DOX caused a significant deterioration in mitochondrial function and dynamic regulation, and an increase in markers of oxidative stress, inflammation, myocardial injury, apoptosis, autophagy, and mitophagy, resulting in impaired cardiac function. Cotreatment of DOX with Mdivi-1, M1, or a combination of the two mitigated these detrimental effects of DOX. These findings imply that either inhibiting fission or promoting fusion of mitochondria protects the heart from DOX-induced myocardial damage. Modulation of mitochondrial dynamics could be a novel therapeutic target in alleviating DOX-induced cytotoxic effects without compromising its anticancer efficacy.

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