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Papers of the Week

Papers: 14 Dec 2019 - 20 Dec 2019

Animal Studies, Pharmacology/Drug Development

2020 02 01



Paclitaxel induces sex-biased behavioral deficits and changes in gene expression in mouse prefrontal cortex.


Liang L, Wei J, Tian L, Padma Nagendra BV, Gao F, Zhang J, Xu L, Wang H, Huo F-Q
Neuroscience. 2020 02 01; 426:168-178.
PMID: 31846751.


Paclitaxel (PTX) is one of the most commonly used chemotherapeutic agents for various cancer diseases. Despite its advantages, PTX also causes behavioral deficits related to nervous-system dysfunction, such as neuropathic pain, depression, anxiety, and cognitive impairments. The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is one of the areas that is susceptible to adverse effects of chemotherapeutic agents. Therefore, the present study was designed to examine sex-biased behavioral deficits and whole-transcriptome changes in gene expression in the PFC of mice treated with vehicle or PTX. In this study, PTX (4mg/kg) was injected intraperitoneally four times in mice every other day. Three weeks later, both PTX-treated male and female mice developed mechanical pain hypersensitivities, as indicated by increased paw withdrawal responses to 0.16-g von Frey filaments. Additionally, PTX-treated mice exhibited depression-like symptoms, as they exhibited increased immobility times in the forced swim test. PTX also induced cognitive impairment, as demonstrated via results of a novel object recognition test and anxiety-like behavior in an elevated plus-maze test in male mice, but not in female mice. RNA sequencing and in-depth gene expression analysis of the PFC in paired vehicle and PTX-treated mice showed that PTX induced 1,755 differentially expressed genes in the PFCs of male and female mice. Quantitative real-time RT-PCR verified that some gene expressions in the medial PFC were related to neurotransmission. In conclusion, this study identified a sex-biased effect of PTX on PFC function and gene expression, which provides a foundation for future studies to explore the precise mechanisms of PTX-induced behavioral deficits.