Protection against doxorubicin-induced cardiotoxicity through modulating iNOS/Arg 2 balance by electroacupuncture at PC6

Jingya Wang, Lin Yao, Xiaoli Wu, Qi Guo, Shengxuan Sun, Jie Li, Guoqi Shi, Ruth B. Caldwell, R. William Caldwell, Yongjun Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Background. Doxorubicin (DOX) is a commonly used chemotherapeutic drug but is limited in clinical applications by its cardiotoxicity. Neiguan acupoint (PC6) is a well-recognized acupoint for the treatment of cardiothoracic disease. However, whether acupuncture at PC6 could be effective in preventing DOX-induced cardiotoxicity is still unknown. Methods. A set of experiments were performed with myocardial cells, wild type, inducible nitric oxide synthase knockout (iNOS-/-), and myocardial-specific ablation arginase 2 (Myh6-ARG 2-/-) mice. We investigated the protective effect and the underlying mechanisms for electroacupuncture (EA) against DOX-induced cardiotoxicity by echocardiography, immunostaining, biochemical analysis, and molecular biotechnology in vivo and in vitro analysis. Results. We found that DOX-mediated nitric oxide (NO) production was positively correlated with the iNOS level but has a negative correlation with the arginase 2 (ARG 2) level in both myocardial cells and tissues. Meanwhile, EA at PC6 alleviated cardiac dysfunction and cardiac hypertrophy in DOX-treated mice. EA at PC6 blocked the upregulation of NO production in accompanied with the downregulated iNOS and upregulated ARG 2 levels in myocardial tissue induced by DOX. Furthermore, knockout iNOS prevented cardiotoxicity and EA treatment did not cause the further improvement of cardiac function in iNOS-/- mice treated by DOX. In contrast, deficiency of myocardial ARG 2 aggravated DOX-induced cardiotoxicity and reduced EA protective effect. Conclusion. These results suggest that EA treatment at PC6 can prevent DOX-induced cardiotoxicity through modulating NO production by modulating the iNOS/ARG 2 balance in myocardial cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6628957
JournalOxidative medicine and cellular longevity
StatePublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Aging
  • Cell Biology


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