Chemotherapy-induced cognitive impairment (CICI) is often reported as a neurotoxic side effect of chemotherapy. Although CICI has emerged as a significant medical problem, meaningful treatments are not currently available due to a lack of mechanistic understanding underlying CICI pathophysiology. Using the platinum-based chemotherapy cisplatin as a model for CICI, we show here that cisplatin suppresses nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) levels in the adult female mouse brain in vivo and in human cortical neurons derived from induced pluripotent stem cells in vitro. Increasing NAD+ levels through nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) administration prevented cisplatin-induced abnormalities in neural progenitor proliferation, neuronal morphogenesis, and cognitive function without affecting tumor growth and antitumor efficacy of cisplatin. Mechanistically, cisplatin inhibited expression of the NAD+ biosynthesis rate-limiting enzyme nicotinamide phosphoribosyl transferase (Nampt). Selective restoration of Nampt expression in adult-born neurons was sufficient to prevent cisplatin-induced defects in dendrite morphogenesis and memory function. Taken together, our findings suggest that aberrant Nampt-mediated NAD+ metabolic pathways may be a key contributor in cisplatin-induced neurogenic impairments, thus causally leading to memory dysfunction. Therefore, increasing NAD+ levels could represent a promising and safe therapeutic strategy for cisplatin-related neurotoxicity.


Increasing NAD+ through NMN supplementation offers a potential therapeutic strategy to safely prevent cisplatin-induced cognitive impairments, thus providing hope for improved quality of life in cancer survivors.

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