Doxorubicin-Induced Vascular Toxicity - Targeting Potential Pathways May Reduce Procoagulant Activity

Irit Ben Aharon*, Hadas Bar Joseph, Moran Tzabari, Boris Shenkman, Nahid Farzam, Mattan Levi, Ruth Shalgi, Salomon M. Stemmer, Naphtali Savion

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction:Previous study in mice using real-time intravital imaging revealed an acute deleterious effect of doxorubicin (DXR) on the gonadal vasculature, as a prototype of an end-organ, manifested by a reduction in blood flow and disintegration of the vessel wall. We hypothesized that this pattern may represent the formation of microthrombi. We aimed to further characterize the effect of DXR on platelets' activity and interaction with endothelial cells (EC) and to examine potential protectants to reduce DXR acute effect on the blood flow.Methods:The effect of DXR on platelet adhesion and aggregation were studied in vitro. For in vivo studies, mice were injected with either low molecular weight heparin (LMWH; Enoxaparin) or with eptifibatide (Integrilin©) prior to DXR treatment. Testicular arterial blood flow was examined in real-time by pulse wave Doppler ultrasound.Results:Platelet treatment with DXR did not affect platelet adhesion to a thrombogenic surface but significantly decreased ADP-induced platelet aggregation by up to 40% (p<0.001). However, there was a significant increase in GPIIbIIIa-mediated platelet adhesion to DXR-exposed endothelial cells (EC; 5.7-fold; p<0.001) reflecting the toxic effect of DXR on EC. The testicular arterial blood flow was preserved in mice pre-treated with LMWH or eptifibatide prior to DXR (P<0.01).Conclusions:DXR-induced acute vascular toxicity may involve increased platelet-EC adhesion leading to EC-bound microthrombi formation resulting in compromised blood flow. Anti-platelet/anti-coagulant agents are effective in reducing the detrimental effect of DXR on the vasculature and thus may serve as potential protectants to lessen this critical toxicity.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere75157
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number9
StatePublished - 20 Sep 2013


FundersFunder number
Israel Cancer Association USA


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