Background: Cancer patients can suffer from psychological and cognitive disorders after chemotherapy, which influence quality of life. Objective: Oxidative stress may contribute to the psychological and cognitive disorders induced in rats by chemotherapy. In the present study, we examined the effects of N-acetylcysteine, an anti-oxidant, on anxiety-like behavior and cognitive impairment in rats treated with a combination of doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide. Methods: Rats were intraperitoneally injected with doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide once a week for 2 weeks. The light-dark test and the novel location recognition test were used to assess anxiety-like behavior and spatial cognition, respectively. The rats' hippocampal levels of glutathione (GSH) and glutathione disulfide (GSSG) were measured using a GSSG/GSH quantification kit. Results: Combined treatment with doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide produced anxiety-like behavior and cognitive impairment in rats. N-acetylcysteine reversed the anxiety-like behavior and inhibition of novel location recognition induced by the combination treatment. Furthermore, the combination of doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide significantly reduced the rats' hippocampal GSH/GSSG ratios. N-acetylcysteine reversed the reduction in the GSH/GSSG ratio seen in the doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide-treated rats. Conclusion: These results suggest that N-acetylcysteine inhibits doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide-induced anxiety-like behavior and cognitive impairment by reducing oxidative stress in the hippocampus.
- Cognitive impairment
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