Molecular Neurobiology

, Volume 55, Issue 7, pp 5727–5740 | Cite as

Astaxanthin Ameliorates Doxorubicin-Induced Cognitive Impairment (Chemobrain) in Experimental Rat Model: Impact on Oxidative, Inflammatory, and Apoptotic Machineries

  • Sara Emad El-Agamy
  • Amal Kamal Abdel-Aziz
  • Sara Wahdan
  • Ahmed Esmat
  • Samar S. AzabEmail author
Original Paper


Chemobrain refers to a common sequelae experienced by 15–80% of cancer patients exposed to chemotherapeutics. The antineoplastic agent doxorubicin (DOX) has been implicated in a strenuous neurotoxicity manifested as decline in cognitive functions, most probably via cytokine-induced oxidative and nitrosative damage to brain tissues. Astaxanthin (AST), a naturally occurring carotenoid, is reputable for its outstanding antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antiapoptotic activities. Therefore, the aim of the current study was to investigate the potential neuroprotective and memory-enhancing effects of AST against DOX-induced behavioral and neurobiological abnormalities. Briefly, AST treatment (25 mg/kg) significantly protected against DOX-induced memory impairment. Furthermore, AST restored hippocampal histopathological architecture, halted DOX-induced oxidative and inflammatory insults, mitigated the increase in acetylcholinesterase activity, and consistently downregulated the overactive apoptotic machineries. In conclusion, these findings suggest that AST offers neuroprotection against DOX-induced cognitive impairment which could be explained at least partly by its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antiapoptotic effects.


Chemobrain Doxorubicin Astaxanthin Oxidative stress Neuroinflammation Apoptosis 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

The experimental protocol including procedures of laboratory animal care in research was approved by the Research Ethics Committee, Faculty of Pharmacy, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt, under the memorandum no. 87.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sara Emad El-Agamy
    • 1
  • Amal Kamal Abdel-Aziz
    • 1
  • Sara Wahdan
    • 1
  • Ahmed Esmat
    • 1
  • Samar S. Azab
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Faculty of PharmacyAin Shams UniversityCairoEgypt

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