Steroid As Cytoprotectants against Oxidative Toxicity

Project: Research project

Grant Details


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Stress is known to cause an increase in the synthesis of corticosteroids by the adrenal glands. Although corticosteroids have been shown to contribute to the pathophysiology of suppressed Immune response and a number of psychiatric disorders, the effect of CT on the heart remains unclear. Doxorubicin (Dox) is an anti-neoplastic drug that can produce chronic cardiac toxicity which is manifested as dilated cardiomyopathy. An important feature of this form of cardiomyopathy is the apoptosis of cardiomyocytes. Our preliminary studies found that corticosterone (CT) pretreatment prevented Dox from inducing apoptosis of cardiomyocytes. The glucocorticoid receptor antagonist mifepristone prevented CT from inducing a cell survival response. Several forms of g!ucocorticoids, aldosterone, progesterone and retinoic acid but not estrogen, testosterone or L-thyroxin can inhibit apoptosis of cardiomyocytes. Analyses of ERK, Akt and SGK-1 activities or bcl-2 expression indicated that CT neither activated the known survival kinases nor elevated the expression of the anti-apoptotic gene bcl- 2. The conditioned medium of CT-treated cardiomyocytes shows partially cytoprotective effective. The TranSignal array approach found that CT treatment could potentially activate 21 transcription factors. We hypothesize that activation of the glucocorticoid receptor initiates transcriptional activation of survival genes in cardiomyocytes in vitro and in vivo. Specific aims of this grant include: 1) To test if CT binding causes its receptor to interact with and to activate multiple transcription factors in cardiomyocytes; 2) To test that the activation of cell survival genes contributes to CT-induced cytoprotection; and 3) To demonstrate that CT protects the heart from cardiomyopathy induced by Dox in vivo via inducing the transcription of cell survival genes. This project will combine our expertise in genomics, transcriptomics and proteomics to systematically study the linkage between the glucocorticoid receptor and cell survival mechanisms. Given the fact that stress is unavoidable in our daily life, this project will provide novel information to advance our understanding in the biological effect of corticosteroids on the heart. More importantly, since apoptosis has been shown to contribute to heart failure induced by the chemotherapy agent Dox as well as by many forms of cardiovascular disease, our finding and proposed mechanistic study will provide a hope for novel therapy against heart failure in the future.
Effective start/end date4/1/043/31/10


  • National Institutes of Health: $357,938.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $368,324.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $376,250.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $376,563.00


  • Medicine(all)


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