Dietary red palm oil protects the heart against the cytotoxic effects of anthracycline
Strong anti-neoplastic anthracyclines like daunorubicin (DNR) and doxorubicin (DOX) have high efficacy against systemic neoplasm and solid tumours. However, clinically, they cause chronic cardiomyopathy and congestive heart failure. Red palm oil (RPO) supplementation can protect the heart against ischemic injury. We therefore hypothesize that supplementation with RPO during chemotherapy may protect the heart. Control rats received a standard diet, and the experimental group received RPO in addition for 4weeks. Each group was subsequently injected with either saline or DNR over a 12-day period towards the end of 4weeks. Hearts were excised and perfused on a working heart system. Functional parameters were measured. Tissue samples were collected for analysis of mRNA and protein levels. DNR+RPO increased aortic output by 25% (p<0·05) compared with DNR only. Furthermore, DNR treatment significantly reduced tissue mRNA levels of superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) and nitric oxide synthase 1 (NOS1) compared with untreated controls. Protein expression of SOD1 followed the same pattern as mRNA levels. NOS1 protein levels were significantly increased in DNR treated rats when compared with untreated controls. In addition, DNR increased phosphorylation of p38 and Jun N-terminal kinase compared with untreated controls, whereas DNR+RPO completely counteracted this activation. DNR+RPO significantly up regulated the protein extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1 level compared with DNR only. In this model of DNR treatment, RPO is associated with stabilization of important antioxidant enzymes such NOS and SOD, and inhibition of the 'stress' induced mitogen-activated protein kinase pathways. Dietary RPO also maintained function, similar to control, in DNR treated hearts. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.