Studies Associate Free Radicals with Cancer-Caused Heart Damage

Human mind. Credit: copyright American Heart Association

New studies in animal models show that only the presence of cancerous tumors can lead to heart damage, suggesting that the cause is a molecule called free radicals that interacts with specific cells in the heart. doing.

Tumors in mice and fruit flies have caused varying degrees of cardiac dysfunction, especially reduced blood pumping capacity of the heart.

Adding certain types of antioxidants to the food consumed by tumor flies reversed the damage to the heart. This suggests that the harm caused by free radicals is likely to be associated with cancer and cardiac dysfunction.

“Cancer becomes a systemic disease. It’s not just a tumor that does one thing,” said Shubha Gururaja Rao, an assistant professor of pharmacology at Ohio Northern University and a part-time professor of physiology and cell biology at Ohio State University. ..

Much of what is known about the association between cancer and heart damage is associated with the toxic effects of chemotherapy and the muscle wasting that cancer patients commonly experience.

This is the first study to use a genetic model to investigate the direct effects of cancer on cardiac dysfunction. Researchers have discovered that different cancer-related genes affect the heart in different ways. This indicates that genetic information may one day guide the decision on cardioprotective treatment for cancer patients.

Harpreet Singh, co-chief professor of physiology and cell biology at Ohio State University, said:

“First and foremost, when we first detect cancer, we want clinicians to be aware that other organs are being affected by receiving messages long before muscle wasting or chemotherapy begins. . “

The study is published in the journal Antioxidant..

An estimated 50-80% of cancer patients develop a condition of muscle wasting called cachexia, heart failure, radiation, and chemical treatment Treatment is associated with toxicity-related damage to the heart muscle.

However, new studies suggest that heart problems may surface before cancer treatment. Waste muscle appear. A team from The Ohio State University said a recently published study in the Journal of the America Heart Association reported detection of abnormalities in heart tissue and heart function in human cancer patients before cancer treatment began.

In this new study, researchers at The Ohio State University injected breast cancer cells into the mammary glands of mice and measured heart function in animals four weeks later. They found that two measurements of cardiac pump output, left ventricular ejection fraction and shortening rate, were reduced by approximately 20% and 22%, respectively.

In Drosophila, the team overexpressed a carcinogenic gene, causing the development of fly eye tumors. Scientists have observed not only an increase in heart rate in tumor flies, but also a significant decrease in ejection fraction and shortening rate, similar to that seen in tumor mice.

Researchers have found increased systemic production rates and an increase in the total number of free radicals, also known as reactive oxygen species, in tumor-bearing fruit flies compared to controls. The production rate of reactive oxygen species was also significantly higher in tumor-bearing mice compared to controls.

To test whether the supplement could undo tumor-related heart damage, four antioxidants were added to the fruit fly diet for 7 days: glutathione (GSH), vitamin E, CoQ10 or Vitamin C.

The results showed that all but vitamin C restored the flies’ cardiac function to normal levels.

“We still don’t know why one antioxidant works for another,” said Lao, who said that flies ate antioxidants in food, so researchers are currently looking at antioxidants. I don’t have clear information about the dosage of.

She and Singh also emphasize that reactive oxygen species are just one of the identified mechanisms of tumor-related heart damage, and there is still much to learn about how antioxidants fit into treatment plans. Did.

This study focuses on one carcinogenic gene, Heart damage In Drosophila, researchers first tested the effects of several carcinogenic genes in flies. The heart function affected and the strength of the effect on the heart depend on the gene. Rao will continue genetic research on fruit flies to test the healing effects of antioxidants on the heart of tumor-bearing mice.

Shin works with clinicians at The Ohio State University and other institutions to collect blood samples from cancer patients with heart failure.

“The signal travels from the tumor to the heart, and the tissue that connects these sites is the blood. So are reactive oxygen species traveling through the blood?” He said. “Clinically, our priority is to look for correlations between different carcinogenic pathways and heart failure. Next, we want to see what the message is and whether it can be prescribed. Antioxidant.. “

Other co-authors include Priyanka Karekar, Haley Jensen, Kathryn Russart, Devasena Ponnalagu, Shridhar Sanghvi, Sakima Smith, Leah Pyter, and Sarah Seeley of Ohio Northern University (ONU) at Ohio State University.

Mechanism of cancer-induced exhaustion confirmed in flies

For more information:
Priyanka Karekar et al, Tumor-Induced Cardiac Dysfunction: Potential Role of ROS, Antioxidant (2021). DOI: 10.3390 / antiox10081299

Quote: The study was conducted by Cancer (September 9, 2021) obtained from on September 9, 2021. Link Free Radicals to Caused Heart Damage

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Studies Associate Free Radicals with Cancer-Caused Heart Damage

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