Chemotherapy-induced cognitive impairment (CICI) is an adverse side effect of cancer treatment with increasing awareness. Hippocampal damage and related neurocognitive impairment may mediate the development of CICI, in which altered neurogenesis may play a role. In addition, increased inflammation may be related to chemotherapy-induced hippocampal damage. Memantine, an uncompetitive N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist that may enhance neurogenesis and modulate inflammation, may be useful for treating CICI. To test this hypothesis, paclitaxel was administered to eight-week-old male B6 mice to demonstrate the relationship between CICI and impaired neurogenesis, and then, we evaluated the impact of different memantine regimens on neurogenesis and inflammation in this CICI model. The results demonstrated that both the pretreatment and cotreatment regimens with memantine successfully reversed impaired neurogenesis and spatial memory impairment in behavior tests. The pretreatment regimen unsuccessfully inhibited the expression of peripheral and central TNF-α and IL-1β and did not improve the mood alterations following paclitaxel treatment. However, the cotreatment regimen led to a better modulatory effect on inflammation and restoration of mood disturbance. In conclusion, this study illustrated that impaired neurogenesis is one of the mechanisms of paclitaxel-induced CICI. Memantine may serve as a potential treatment for paclitaxel-induced CICI, but different treatment strategies may lead to variations in the treatment efficacy.
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