Anthracyclines, such as doxorubicin, are well-established, highly efficient anti-neoplastic drugs used for treatment of a variety of cancers, including solid tumors, leukemia, lymphomas, and breast cancer. The successful use of doxorubicin has, however, been hampered by severe cardiotoxic side-effects. In order to prevent or reverse negative side-effects of doxorubicin, it is important to find early biomarkers of heart injury and drug-induced cardiotoxicity. The high stability under extreme conditions, presence in various body fluids, and tissue-specificity, makes microRNAs very suitable as clinical biomarkers. The present study aimed towards evaluating the early and late effects of doxorubicin on the microRNA expression in cardiomyocytes derived from human pluripotent stem cells. We report on several microRNAs, including miR-34a, miR-34b, miR-187, miR-199a, miR-199b, miR-146a, miR-15b, miR-130a, miR-214, and miR-424, that are differentially expressed upon, and after, treatment with doxorubicin. Investigation of the biological relevance of the identified microRNAs revealed connections to cardiomyocyte function and cardiotoxicity, thus supporting the findings of these microRNAs as potential biomarkers for drug-induced cardiotoxicity.
Elsevier, 2016. Vol. 34, 26-34 p.