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J Neurosci. 2019 Feb 7. pii: 1384-18. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1384-18.2019. [Epub ahead of print]

Necroptosis and apoptosis contribute to cisplatin and aminoglycoside ototoxicity.

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Department of Neuroscience, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, 22908; Virginia, USA.
Department of Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, 22908, USA.
Department of Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery, Inje University Sanggye Paik Hospital, Seoul, 01757, Republic of Korea.
Department of Neuroscience, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, 22908; Virginia, USA.


Ototoxic side effects of cisplatin and aminoglycosides have been extensively studied, but no therapy is available to date. Sensory hair cells, upon exposure to cisplatin or aminoglycosides, undergo apoptotic and necrotic cell death. Blocking these cell death pathways has therapeutic potential in theory, but incomplete protection and lack of therapeutic targets in the case of necrosis, has hampered the development of clinically applicable drugs. Over the past decade, a novel form of necrosis, termed necroptosis, was established as an alternative cell death pathway. Necroptosis is distinguished from passive necrotic cell death, in that it follows a cellular program, involving the receptor-interacting protein kinases 1 and 3 (RIPK1 and 3). In this study, we used pharmacological and genetic intervention in the mouse to test the relative contributions of necroptosis and caspase-8-mediated apoptosis towards cisplatin and aminoglycoside ototoxicity. We find that ex vivo, only apoptosis contributes to cisplatin and aminoglycoside ototoxicity, while in vivo, necroptosis as well as apoptosis are involved in both sexes. Inhibition of necroptosis and apoptosis using pharmacological compounds is thus a viable strategy to ameliorate aminoglycoside and cisplatin ototoxicity.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENTThe clinical application of cisplatin and aminoglycosides is limited due to ototoxic side effects. Here, using pharmaceutical and genetic intervention, we present evidence that two types of programmed cell death, apoptosis and necroptosis, contribute to aminoglycoside and cisplatin ototoxicity. Key molecular factors mediating necroptosis are well characterized and druggable, presenting new avenues for pharmaceutical intervention.

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