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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.

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JCI Insight





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This article was published in JCI Insight, Volume 8, Issue 14.

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Copyright © 2023 Yao et al. CC BY 4.0.

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