Rutin protects against neuronal damage in vitro and ameliorates doxorubicin-induced memory deficits in vivo in Wistar rats

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Doxorubicin (DOX) is the most widely used broad-spectrum anticancer agent, either alone or in combination, for most cancers including breast cancer. Long-term use of chemotherapeutic agents to treat breast cancer patients results in cognitive complications with a negative impact on survivors’ quality of life. The study objective was to evaluate rutin (RUT) for its neuroprotective effect against DOX in human neuroblastoma (IMR32) cells in vitro and study its potential to ameliorate DOX-induced cognitive dysfunction in Wistar rats. Cell viability assay (3-[4,5 dimethyl thiazol-2-yl]-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide), neurite growth assay, detection of apoptosis by (acridine orange/ethidium bromide) staining, intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) assay, and flowcytometric analysis were carried out to assess neuroprotective potential against DOX. An in vivo study was conducted for assessing protective effect of RUT against memory deficit associated with DOX-induced chemobrain using object recognition task (ORT). Locomotion was assessed using open field test. Serum biochemistry, acetylcholinesterase, oxidative stress markers in hippocampus, and frontal cortex were assessed. Histopathological analysis of major organ systems was also carried out. Prior exposure to RUT at 100 μM protected IMR32 cells from DOX (1 μM) neurotoxicity. DOX exposure resulted in increased cellular death, apoptosis, and intracellular ROS generation with inhibition of neurite growth in differentiated IMR32 cells, which was significantly ameliorated by RUT. Cognitive dysfunction was induced in Wistar rats by administering ten cycles of DOX (2.5 mg/kg, intraperitoneal, once in 5 days), as we observed significant impairment of episodic memory in ORT. Coadministration with RUT (50 mg/kg, per os) significantly prevented memory deficits in vivo without any confounding influence on locomotor activity. RUT also offered protection against DOX-induced myelosuppression, cardiotoxicity, and nephrotoxicity. In conclusion, RUT may be a possible adjuvant therapeutic intervention to alleviate cognitive and other complications associated with DOX chemotherapy.




Venkata, G., Ramalingayya, Cheruku, S. P., Nayak, P. G., Kishore, A., Shenoy, R., … Krishnadas, N. (2017). Rutin protects against neuronal damage in vitro and ameliorates doxorubicin-induced memory deficits in vivo in Wistar rats. Drug Design, Development and Therapy, 11, 1011–1026.

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