Cancer therapies with anthracyclines have been shown to induce cardiovascular complications. The aims of this study were to establish an in vitro induced pluripotent stem cell model (iPSC) of anthracycline-induced cardiotoxicity (ACT) from patients with an aggressive form of B-cell lymphoma and to examine whether doxorubicin (DOX)-treated ACT-iPSC cardiomyocytes (CM) can recapitulate the clinical features exhibited by patients, and thus help uncover a DOX-dependent pathomechanism. ACT-iPSC CM generated from individuals with CD20+ B-cell lymphoma who had received high doses of DOX and suffered cardiac dysfunction were studied and compared to control-iPSC CM from cancer survivors without cardiac symptoms. In cellular studies, ACT-iPSC CM were persistently more susceptible to DOX toxicity including augmented disorganized myofilament structure, changed mitochondrial shape, and increased apoptotic events. Consistently, ACT-iPSC CM and cardiac fibroblasts isolated from fibrotic human ACT myocardium exhibited higher DOX-dependent reactive oxygen species. In functional studies, Ca2+ transient amplitude of ACT-iPSC CM was reduced compared to control cells, and diastolic sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ leak was DOX-dependently increased. This could be explained by overactive CaMKIIδ in ACT CM. Together with DOX-dependent augmented proarrhythmic cellular triggers and prolonged action potentials in ACT CM, this suggests a cellular link to arrhythmogenic events and contractile dysfunction especially found in ACT engineered human myocardium. CamKIIδ inhibition prevented proarrhythmic triggers in ACT. In contrast, control CM upregulated SERCA2a expression in a DOX-dependent manner, possibly to avoid heart failure conditions. In conclusion, we developed the first human patient-specific stem cell model of DOX-induced cardiac dysfunction from patients with B-cell lymphoma. Our results suggest that DOX-induced stress resulted in arrhythmogenic events associated with contractile dysfunction and finally in heart failure after persistent stress activation in ACT patients.
- Anthracyclin-induced cardiotoxicity (ACT)
- Cardiac fibroblasts
- Heart failure
- Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC)