Chronic Diclofenac Exposure Increases Mitochondrial Oxidative Stress, Inflammatory Mediators, and Cardiac Dysfunction

Phung N. Thai, Lu Ren, Wilson Xu, James Overton, Valeriy Timofeyev, Carol E. Nader, Michael Haddad, Jun Yang, Aldrin V. Gomes, Bruce D. Hammock, Nipavan Chiamvimonvat, Padmini Sirish

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are among one of the most commonly prescribed medications for pain and inflammation. Diclofenac (DIC) is a commonly prescribed NSAID that is known to increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases. However, the mechanisms underlying its cardiotoxic effects remain largely unknown. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that chronic exposure to DIC increases oxidative stress, which ultimately impairs cardiovascular function. Methods and Results: Mice were treated with DIC for 4 weeks and subsequently subjected to in vivo and in vitro functional assessments. Chronic DIC exposure resulted in not only systolic but also diastolic dysfunction. DIC treatment, however, did not alter blood pressure or electrocardiographic recordings. Importantly, treatment with DIC significantly increased inflammatory cytokines and chemokines as well as cardiac fibroblast activation and proliferation. There was increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) production in cardiomyocytes from DIC-treated mice, which may contribute to the more depolarized mitochondrial membrane potential and reduced energy production, leading to a significant decrease in sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) Ca2+ load, Ca2+ transients, and sarcomere shortening. Using unbiased metabolomic analyses, we demonstrated significant alterations in oxylipin profiles towards inflammatory features in chronic DIC treatment. Conclusions: Together, chronic treatment with DIC resulted in severe cardiotoxicity, which was mediated, in part, by an increase in mitochondrial oxidative stress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCardiovascular Drugs and Therapy
StateAccepted/In press - 2021


  • Diclofenac
  • Mitochondria
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug
  • Oxidative stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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