Fluvoxamine alleviates paclitaxel-induced neurotoxicity

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Paclitaxel (Px) is an effective chemotherapeutic agent for the treatment of various cancers. However, it is often associated with neurological side effects, including chemotherapy-associated cognitive impairment (CACI), such as "chemobrain". Previously, we reported that endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress is involved in Px-induced neurotoxicity, and immunoglobulin heavy chain binding protein (BiP) inducer X (BIX) alleviates Px-induced neurotoxicity. However, BIX has not been used in clinical practice yet. We recently reported that fluvoxamine (Flv) alleviates ER stress via induction of sigma-1 receptor (Sig-1R). The purpose of this study was to investigate whether Flv could alleviate Px-induced neurotoxicity in vitro. SK-N-SH cells were pre-treated for 12 h with or without 10 μg/ml Flv followed by treatment with 1 μM Px with or without co-existence of 10 μg/ml Flv for 24 h. To investigate the involvement of Sig-1R in alleviation effect on Px-induced neurotoxicity,1 μM NE100, an antagonist of Sig-1R, was added for 24 h. Neurotoxicity was assessed using the MTS viability assay and ER stress-mediated neurotoxicity was assessed by evaluating the expression of C/EBP homologous protein (CHOP), cleaved caspase 4, and cleaved caspase 3. Pre-treatment with Flv significantly alleviated the induction of CHOP, cleaved caspase 4, and cleaved caspase 3 in SK-N-SH cells. At the same time, pre-treatment with Flv significantly induced Sig-1R in SK-N-SH cells. In addition, viability was significantly higher in Flv-treated cells than in untreated cells, which was reversed by treatment with NE100. Our results suggest that Flv alleviates Px-induced neurotoxicity in part through the induction of Sig-1R. Our findings should contribute to one of the novel approaches for the alleviation of Px-induced neurotoxicity, including chemobrain.


  • Biochemistry and Biophysics Reports

    Biochemistry and Biophysics Reports (4), 202-206, 2015-12

    Elsevier B.V.


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