Doxorubicin (DOX), an anthracycline drug widely used for the treatment of various cancers, causes a cumulative dose-dependent cardiotoxicity that is characterized by an irreversible dilated cardiomyopathy and congestive heart failure. Antarth (ANT) a polyherbal preparation was evaluated for its cardioprotective properties against doxorubicin-induced cardiotoxicity in mice. Mice were treated with 25 mg/kg ANT orally once daily for 5 consecutive days before a single intraperitoneal injection of 15 mg/kg doxoubicin. The animals were killed 30 h after DOX treatment. DOX induced a significant elevation in the serum levels of glutamic pyruvic transaminase (GPT), glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase (GOT), creatine kinase (CK-MB) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), indicating its acute cardiotoxicity. The treatment of mice with ANT before DOX administration significantly reduced the serum levels of GPT, GOT, CK-MB and LDH indicating that ANT protected against the DOX-induced cardiotoxicity. Pretreatment of mice with 25 mg/kg ANT inhibited the DOX-induced decline in the antioxidant status. Intraperitoneal injection of 1.25 mg/kg DOX once daily for 9 consecutive days significantly improved the survival of mice bearing Ehrlich ascites carcinoma (EAC). Treatment of EAC with 25 mg/kg ANT alone did not affect the anticancer activity of DOX since ANT did not alter the tumor cell growth, the median survival time and average survival time of tumor bearing mice. The present study demonstrates that ANT protects mice against DOX-induced cardiotoxicity, without compromising the antineoplastic activity of DOX.
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