Doxorubicin (Dox) is a highly effective chemotherapeutic agent employed in the handling of hematological and solid tumors. The effective use of Dox in cancer therapy has been seriously limited due to its well-known cardiotoxic side effects, mainly mediated by oxidative damage. Therefore, the identification of an effective and safe antagonist against Dox-induced cardiotoxicity remains a challenge. In this respect, as plant polyphenols have attracted considerable interest due to their antioxidant properties and good safety profile, hydroxytyrosol (HT), the major phenolic compound in olive oil, could be a potential candidate due to its remarkable antioxidant and anticancer powers. In this study, the effect of HT was tested on Dox-induced cardiotoxicity by using a combination of biochemical and cellular biology techniques. Interestingly, HT was able to counteract Dox-induced cytotoxicity in cardiomyocytes by acting on the SOD2 level and the oxidative response, as well as on apoptotic mechanisms mediated by Bcl-2/Bax. At the same time, HT did not to interfere with the antitumorigenic properties of Dox in osteosarcoma cells. This study identifies new, beneficial properties for HT and suggests that it might be a promising molecule for the development of additional therapeutic approaches aimed at preventing anthracycline-related cardiotoxicity and improving long-term outcomes in antineoplastic treatments.
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