Protective roles of fenofibrate against cisplatin-induced ototoxicity by the rescue of peroxisomal and mitochondrial dysfunction

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Cisplatin is an alkylating agent that interferes with DNA replication and kills proliferating carcinogenic cells. Several studies have been conducted to attenuate the side effects of cisplatin; one such side effect in cancer patients undergoing cisplatin chemotherapy is ototoxicity. However, owing to a lack of understanding of the precise mechanism underlying cisplatin-induced side effects, management of cisplatin-induced ototoxicity remains unsolved. We investigated the protective effects of fenofibrate, a PPAR-α activator, on cisplatin-induced ototoxicity. Fenofibrate prevented cisplatin-induced loss of hair cells and improved cell viability; moreover, fenofibrate significantly attenuated the threshold of auditory brainstem responses (ABR) in cisplatin-injected mice. Fenofibrate significantly increased PPAR-α, PPAR-γ, and PGC-1α expression, which consequently resulted in increased number and functional enzyme levels of peroxisomes and mitochondria, and markedly decreased phospho-p53 (S15), activated caspase-3, cleaved-PARP, and NF-κB p65 nuclear translocation, which reduced NADPH oxidase isoform (NOX3 and NOX4) expression, thereby decreasing reactive oxygen species (ROS) production in cisplatin-treated tissues ex vivo. Taken together, these results indicate that fenofibrate rescues cisplatin-induced ototoxicity by maintaining peroxisome and mitochondria number and function, reducing inflammation, and decreasing ROS levels. Our findings suggest that fenofibrate administration might serve as an effective therapeutic agent against cisplatin-induced ototoxicity.Graphical abstractHighlightsFenofibrate significantly prevented cisplatin-induced hair cells damage.Fenofibrate significantly protected the hearing loss of cisplatin-induced mice.Fenofibrate reduced the ROS production and suppression of NOX3 and NOX4 expression.Fenofibrate rescues the peroxisomal and mitochondrial functions.Fenofibrate recovered the fatty acid-binding proteins (FABPs) in cisplatin-injected mice.

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