Toxicometabolomics-based cardiotoxicity evaluation of Thiazolidinedione exposure in human-derived cardiomyocytes

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Introduction: Thiazolidinediones (TZDs), represented by pioglitazone and rosiglitazone, are a class of cost-effective oral antidiabetic agents posing a marginal hypoglycaemia risk. Nevertheless, observations of heart failure have hindered the clinical use of both therapies. Objective: Since the mechanism of TZD-induced heart failure remains largely uncharacterised, this study aimed to explore the as-yet-unidentified mechanisms underpinning TZD cardiotoxicity using a toxicometabolomics approach. Methods: The present investigation included an untargeted liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry-based toxicometabolomics pipeline, followed by multivariate statistics and pathway analyses to elucidate the mechanism(s)of TZD-induced cardiotoxicity using AC16 human cardiomyocytes as a model, and to identify the prognostic features associated with such effects. Results: Acute administration of either TZD agent resulted in a significant modulation in carnitine content, reflecting potential disruption of the mitochondrial carnitine shuttle. Furthermore, perturbations were noted in purine metabolism and amino acid fingerprints, strongly conveying aberrations in cardiac energetics associated with TZD usage. Analysis of our findings also highlighted alterations in polyamine (spermine and spermidine) and amino acid (L-tyrosine and valine) metabolism, known modulators of cardiac hypertrophy, suggesting a potential link to TZD cardiotoxicity that necessitates further research. In addition, this comprehensive study identified two groupings – (i) valine and creatine, and (ii) L-tryptophan and L-methionine – that were significantly enriched in the above-mentioned mechanisms, emerging as potential fingerprint biomarkers for pioglitazone and rosiglitazone cardiotoxicity, respectively. Conclusion: These findings demonstrate the utility of toxicometabolomics in elaborating on mechanisms of drug toxicity and identifying potential biomarkers, thus encouraging its application in the toxicological sciences.

Original languageEnglish
Article number24
Number of pages13
Issue number2
Early online date23 Feb 2024
Publication statusPublished - 23 Feb 2024


  • thiazolidinediones
  • toxicometabolomics
  • cardiotoxicity
  • amino acids
  • carnitines


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