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Chemotherapy-induced cognitive impairment (CICI) is a common complication associated with the use of chemotherapeutics. Doxorubicin (DOX) is a reactive oxygen species (ROS) producing anticancer agent capable of causing potential neurotoxic effects via cytokine-induced oxidative and nitrosative damage to brain tissues. On the other hand, alpha-lipoic acid (ALA), a nutritional supplement, is reputable for its excellent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-apoptotic activities. Consequently, the objective of the current investigation was to examine any potential neuroprotective and memory-improving benefits of ALA against DOX-induced behavioral and neurological anomalies. DOX (2 mg/kg/week, i.p.) was administrated for 4 weeks to Sprague-Dawley rats. ALA (50, 100, and 200 mg/kg) was administered for 4 weeks. The Morris water maze (MWM) and novel objective recognition task (NORT) tests were used to assess memory function. Biochemical assays with UV-visible spectrophotometry were used to analyze oxidative stress markers [malondialdehyde (MDA), protein carbonylation (PCO)], endogenous antioxidants [reduced glutathione (GSH), catalase (CAT), superoxide dismutase (SOD), and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px)] and acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity in hippocampal tissue. Inflammatory markers [tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB)], nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor-2 (NRF-2) and hemeoxygenase-1 (HO-1) levels were estimated using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). In addition, reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels were measured in hippocampus tissue using 2-7-dichlorofluorescein-diacetate (DCFH-DA) assay with fluorimetry. ALA treatment significantly protected against DOX-induced memory impairment. Furthermore, ALA restored hippocampal antioxidants, halted DOX-induced oxidative and inflammatory insults via upregulation of NRF-2/HO-1 levels, and alleviated the increase in NF-κB expression. These results indicate that ALA offers neuroprotection against DOX-induced cognitive impairment, which could be attributed to its antioxidant potential via the NRF-2/HO-1 signaling pathway. © 2023. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.


Roshan Lal, Ravinder Naik Dharavath, Kanwaljit Chopra. Alpha-Lipoic Acid Ameliorates Doxorubicin-Induced Cognitive Impairments by Modulating Neuroinflammation and Oxidative Stress via NRF-2/HO-1 Signaling Pathway in the Rat Hippocampus. Neurochemical research. 2023 Aug;48(8):2476-2489

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PMID: 37017891

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