Cardiomyocyte apoptosis is a critical process in the pathogenesis of ischemic and diabetic cardiomyopathy, but the mechanisms are not fully understood. Thioredoxin-interacting protein (TXNIP) has recently been shown to have deleterious effects in the cardiovascular system and we therefore investigated whether it may also play a role in diabetes-associated cardiomyocyte apoptosis. In fact, TXNIP expression was increased in H9C2 cardiomyocytes incubated at high glucose, and cardiac expression of TXNIP and cleaved caspase-3 were also elevated in vivo in streptozotocin- and obesity-induced diabetic mice. Together, these findings not only suggest that TXNIP is involved in diabetic cardiomyopathy but also that it may represent a novel therapeutic target. Surprisingly, testing putative TXNIP modulators revealed that calcium channel blockers reduce cardiomyocyte TXNIP transcription and protein levels in a dose-dependent manner. Oral administration of verapamil for 3 wk also reduced cardiac TXNIP expression in mice even in the face of severe diabetes, and these reduced TXNIP levels were associated with decreased apoptosis. To determine whether lack of TXNIP can mimic the verapamil-induced decrease in apoptosis, we used TXNIP-deficient HcB-19 mice, harboring a natural nonsense mutation in the TXNIP gene. Interestingly, we found significantly reduced cleaved caspase-3 levels in HcB-19 hearts, suggesting that TXNIP plays a critical role in cardiac apoptosis and that the verapamil effects were mediated by TXNIP reduction. Thus our results suggest that TXNIP reduction is a powerful target to enhance cardiomyocyte survival and that agents such as calcium channel blockers may be useful in trying to achieve this goal and prevent diabetic cardiomyopathy. Copyright © 2009 the American Physiological Society.