Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
BioMed Research International
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 465342, 13 pages
Research Article

An Upgrade on the Rabbit Model of Anthracycline-Induced Cardiomyopathy: Shorter Protocol, Reduced Mortality, and Higher Incidence of Overt Dilated Cardiomyopathy

1Departamento de Medicina y Cirugía Animal, Facultad de Veterinaria, Universidad de Murcia, Campus de Excelencia Internacional Regional “Campus Mare Nostrum”, 30100 Murcia, Spain
2School of Biological Sciences, Institute for Cardiovascular and Metabolic Research, University of Reading, Reading RG6 6AS, UK
3Departamento de Anatomía y Anatomía Comparada, Facultad de Veterinaria, Universidad de Murcia, Campus de Excelencia Internacional Regional “Campus Mare Nostrum”, 30100 Murcia, Spain
4Institute of Virology and Immunology (IVI), Sensemattstrasse 293, 3147 Mittelhäusern, Switzerland
5Unidad de Trasplante Hematopoyético y Terapia Celular, Departamento de Hematología, Hospital Universitario Virgen de la Arrixaca, IMIB, Universidad de Murcia, 30120 Murcia, Spain

Received 21 August 2015; Revised 24 November 2015; Accepted 26 November 2015

Academic Editor: Peter M. Becher

Copyright © 2015 Jesús Talavera et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Current protocols of anthracycline-induced cardiomyopathy in rabbits present with high premature mortality and nephrotoxicity, thus rendering them unsuitable for studies requiring long-term functional evaluation of myocardial function (e.g., stem cell therapy). We compared two previously described protocols to an in-house developed protocol in three groups: Group DOX2 received doxorubicin 2 mg/kg/week (8 weeks); Group DAU3 received daunorubicin 3 mg/kg/week (10 weeks); and Group DAU4 received daunorubicin 4 mg/kg/week (6 weeks). A cohort of rabbits received saline (control). Results of blood tests, cardiac troponin I, echocardiography, and histopathology were analysed. Whilst DOX2 and DAU3 rabbits showed high premature mortality (50% and 33%, resp.), DAU4 rabbits showed 7.6% premature mortality. None of DOX2 rabbits developed overt dilated cardiomyopathy; 66% of DAU3 rabbits developed overt dilated cardiomyopathy and quickly progressed to severe congestive heart failure. Interestingly, 92% of DAU4 rabbits showed overt dilated cardiomyopathy and 67% developed congestive heart failure exhibiting stable disease. DOX2 and DAU3 rabbits showed alterations of renal function, with DAU3 also exhibiting hepatic function compromise. Thus, a shortened protocol of anthracycline-induced cardiomyopathy as in DAU4 group results in high incidence of overt dilated cardiomyopathy, which insidiously progressed to congestive heart failure, associated to reduced systemic compromise and very low premature mortality.