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Sci Rep. 2017 Sep 15;7(1):11667. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-12054-7.

The cancer chemotherapeutic agent paclitaxel (Taxol) reduces hippocampal neurogenesis via down-regulation of vesicular zinc.

Author information

1
Department of Physiology, Hallym University, College of Medicine, Chuncheon, Korea.
2
Department of Surgery, Chuncheon Sacred Heart Hospital, College of Medicine, Chuncheon, Korea.
3
Department of Neurology, Chuncheon Sacred Heart Hospital, College of Medicine, Chuncheon, Korea.
4
Department of Physiology, Hallym University, College of Medicine, Chuncheon, Korea. swsuh@hallym.ac.kr.

Abstract

Chemotherapy-induced cognitive impairment (CICI) is increasingly recognized as a major unwanted side effect of an otherwise highly valuable life-saving technology. In part, this awareness is a result of increased cancer survival rates following chemotherapy. Altered hippocampal neurogenesis may play a role in mediating CICI. In particular, zinc could act as a key regulator of this process. To test this hypothesis, we administered paclitaxel (Px) to male C57BL/6 mice for set time periods and then evaluated the effects of Px treatment on hippocampal neurogenesis and vesicular zinc. We found that vesicular zinc levels and expression of zinc transporter 3 (ZnT3) were reduced in Px-treated mice, compared to vehicle-treated mice. Moreover, Px-treated mice demonstrated a significant decrease in the number of neuroblasts present. However, no difference in the number of progenitor cells were observed. In addition, zinc supplementation by treatment with ZnCl2 ameliorated the Px-induced decrease in hippocampal neurogenesis and cognitive impairment. These results suggest that via disruption of vesicular zinc stores in hippocampal mossy fiber terminals, chemotherapy may impinge upon one or more of the sequential stages involved in the maturation of new neurons derived via adult neurogenesis and thereby leads to the progressive cognitive decline associated with CICI.

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