Age-related decline in hippocampal tyrosine phosphatase PTPRO is a mechanistic factor in chemotherapy-related cognitive impairment.

Zhimeng Yao, Hongmei Dong, Jianlin Zhu, Liang Du, Yichen Luo, Qing Liu, Shixin Liu, Yusheng Lin, Lu Wang, Shuhong Wang, Wei Wei, Keke Zhang, Qingjun Huang, Xiaojun Yu, Weijiang Zhao, Haiyun Xu, Xiaofu Qiu, Yunlong Pan, Xingxu Huang, Sai-Ching Jim YeungDianzheng Zhang, Hao Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Chemotherapy-related cognitive impairment (CRCI) or "chemo brain" is a devastating neurotoxic sequela of cancer-related treatments, especially for the elderly individuals. Here we show that PTPRO, a tyrosine phosphatase, is highly enriched in the hippocampus, and its level is tightly associated with neurocognitive function but declined significantly during aging. To understand the protective role of PTPRO in CRCI, a mouse model was generated by treating Ptpro-/- female mice with doxorubicin (DOX) because Ptpro-/- female mice are more vulnerable to DOX, showing cognitive impairments and neurodegeneration. By analyzing PTPRO substrates that are neurocognition-associated tyrosine kinases, we found that SRC and EPHA4 are highly phosphorylated/activated in the hippocampi of Ptpro-/- female mice, with increased sensitivity to DOX-induced CRCI. On the other hand, restoration of PTPRO in the hippocampal CA3 region significantly ameliorate CRCI in Ptpro-/- female mice. In addition, we found that the plant alkaloid berberine (BBR) is capable of ameliorating CRCI in aged female mice by upregulating hippocampal PTPRO. Mechanistically, BBR upregulates PTPRO by downregulating miR-25-3p, which directly targeted PTPRO. These findings collectively demonstrate the protective role of hippocampal PTPRO against CRCI.

Original languageAmerican English
JournalJCI Insight
StatePublished - Jul 24 2023


  • Animals
  • Chemotherapy-Related Cognitive Impairment
  • Hippocampus
  • Mice
  • Protein Tyrosine Phosphatases
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • Tyrosine


  • Medicine and Health Sciences
  • Neurology

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