Protective effects of meldonium in experimental models of cardiovascular complications with a potential application in COVID‐19

Reinis Vilskersts (Coresponding Author), Dana Kigitovica, Stanislava Korzh, Melita Videja, Karlis Vilks, Helena Cirule, Andris Skride, Marina Makrecka‐Kuka, Edgars Liepinsh, Maija Dambrova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
50 Downloads (Pure)


Right ventricular (RV) and left ventricular (LV) dysfunction is common in a significant number of hospitalized coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID‐19) patients. This study was conducted to assess whether the improved mitochondrial bioenergetics by cardiometabolic drug meldonium can attenuate the development of ventricular dysfunction in experimental RV and LV dysfunction models, which resemble ventricular dysfunction in COVID‐19 patients. Effects of meldonium were assessed in rats with pulmonary hypertension‐induced RV failure and in mice with inflammation-induced LV dysfunction. Rats with RV failure showed decreased RV fractional area change (RVFAC) and hypertrophy. Treatment with meldonium attenuated the development of RV hyper-trophy and increased RVFAC by 50%. Mice with inflammation‐induced LV dysfunction had decreased LV ejection fraction (LVEF) by 30%. Treatment with meldonium prevented the decrease in LVEF. A decrease in the mitochondrial fatty acid oxidation with a concomitant increase in pyruvate metabolism was noted in the cardiac fibers of the rats and mice with RV and LV failure, respectively. Meldonium treatment in both models restored mitochondrial bioenergetics. The results show that meldonium treatment prevents the development of RV and LV systolic dysfunction by enhancing mitochondrial function in experimental models of ventricular dysfunction that resembles cardiovascular complications in COVID‐19 patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article number45
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2022


  • COVID‐19 cardiovascular complications
  • Left ventricular dysfunction
  • Meldonium
  • Mitochondria
  • Right ventricular dysfunction

Field of Science*

  • 1.4 Chemical sciences
  • 1.6 Biological sciences
  • 3.1 Basic medicine

Publication Type*

  • 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database


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