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Lysosomal alterations in heart and liver of mice treated with doxorubicin


This study was carried out to evaluate the influence of long-term treatment with doxorubicin (DXR) (4mg/kg IV for 5 weeks) on heart and liver lysosomes of mice.

We evaluated the variations in both total and “sedimentable” enzyme activity of cathepsin D, which is the major endopeptidase of myocites and probably involved in physiologic and pathologic degradation of actomyosin and mitochondria, and that of acid phosphatase, which is more prominent in interstitial cells.

Our results show that marked changes occur in both total and sedimentable enzyme activity of cathepsin D in the heart of treated animals and to a lesser extent in the liver.

In contrast, no modification of either total or sedimentable acid phosphatase was seen in either organ.

The effects we observed are much more marked for cardiac cathepsin D; this is in good agreement with the cardiac specificity of DXR-induced cardiotoxicity with long-term administration and suggests that lysosomes could play a role in the pathogenesis of this phenomenon.

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Correspondence to Nicola Gebbia.

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Supported by CNR (National Research Council) contract No. 83.00923.96

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Gebbia, N., Leto, G., Gagliano, M. et al. Lysosomal alterations in heart and liver of mice treated with doxorubicin. Cancer Chemother. Pharmacol. 15, 26–30 (1985).

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  • Enzyme Activity
  • Cancer Research
  • Doxorubicin
  • Acid Phosphatase
  • Marked Change