Ethoxyquin is a Competent Radical-Trapping Antioxidant for Preventing Ferroptosis in Doxorubicin Cardiotoxicity

Tomonori Tadokoro, Masataka Ikeda, Ko Abe, Tomomi Ide, Hiroko Deguchi Miyamoto, Shun Furusawa, Kosei Ishimaru, Masatsugu Watanabe, Akihito Ishikita, Shouji Matsushima, Tomoko Koumura, Ken Ichi Yamada, Hirotaka Imai, Hiroyuki Tsutsui

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Doxorubicin (DOX) is an effective anti-cancer agent for various malignancies. Nevertheless, it has a side effect of cardiotoxicity, referred to as doxorubicin-induced cardiomyopathy (DIC), that is associated with a poorer prognosis. This cardiotoxicity limits the clinical use of DOX as a therapeutic agent for malignancies. Recently, ferroptosis, a form of regulated cell death induced by the accumulation of lipid peroxides, has been recognized as a major pathophysiology of DIC. Ethoxyquin is a lipophilic antioxidant widely used for food preservation and thus may be a potential therapeutic drug for preventing DIC. However, the efficacy of ethoxyquin against ferroptosis and DIC remains to be fully elucidated. Here, we investigated the inhibitory action of ethoxyquin against GPx4-deficient ferroptosis and its therapeutic efficacy against DOX-induced cell death in cultured cardiomyocytes and cardiotoxicity in a murine model of DIC. In cultured cardiomyocytes, ethoxyquin treatment effectively prevented GPx4-deficient ferroptosis. Ethoxyquin also prevented DOX-induced cell death, accompanied by the suppression of malondialdehyde (MDA) and mitochondrial lipid peroxides, which were induced by DOX. Furthermore, ethoxyquin significantly prevented DOX-induced cell death without any suppression of caspase cleavages representing apoptosis. In DIC mice, ethoxyquin treatment ameliorated cardiac impairments, such as contractile dysfunction and myocardial atrophy, and lung congestion. Ethoxyquin also suppressed serum lactate dehydrogenase and creatine kinase activities, decreased the levels of lipid peroxides such as MDA and acrolein, inhibited cardiac fibrosis, and reduced TUNEL-positive cells in the hearts of DIC mice. Collectively, ethoxyquin is a competent antioxidant for preventing ferroptosis in DIC and can be its prospective therapeutic drug.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)690-699
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Nov 7 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmacology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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