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Papers of the Week

Papers: 21 Sep 2019 - 27 Sep 2019

Pharmacology/Drug Development


Front Neurosci


Pharmacological Treatment of Chemotherapy-Induced Neuropathic Pain: PPARγ Agonists as a Promising Tool.


Meira Quintão N L, Santin J R, Stoeberl L C, Corrêa T P, Melato J, Costa R
Front Neurosci. 2019; 13:907.
PMID: 31555078.


Chemotherapy-induced neuropathic pain (CINP) is one of the most severe side effects of anticancer agents, such as platinum- and taxanes-derived drugs (oxaliplatin, cisplatin, carboplatin and paclitaxel). CINP may even be a factor of interruption of treatment and consequently increasing the risk of death. Besides that, it is important to take into consideration that the incidence of cancer is increasing worldwide, including colorectal, gastric, lung, cervical, ovary and breast cancers, all treated with the aforementioned drugs, justifying the concern of the medical community about the patient's quality of life. Several physiopathological mechanisms have already been described for CINP, such as changes in axonal transport, mitochondrial damage, increased ion channel activity and inflammation in the central nervous system (CNS). Another less frequent event that may occur after chemotherapy, particularly under oxaliplatin treatment, is the central neurotoxicity leading to disorders such as mental confusion, catatonia, hyporeflexia, etc. To date, no pharmacological therapy has shown satisfactory effect in these cases. In this scenario, duloxetine is the only drug currently in clinical use. Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) belong to the class of nuclear receptors and are present in several tissues, mainly participating in lipid and glucose metabolism and inflammatory response. There are three PPAR isoforms: α, β/δ and γ. PPARγ, the protagonist of this review, is expressed in adipose tissue, large intestine, spleen and neutrophils. This subtype also plays important role in energy balance, lipid biosynthesis and adipogenesis. The effects of PPARγ agonists, known for their positive activity on type II diabetes mellitus, have been explored and present promising effects in the control of neuropathic pain, including CINP, and also cancer. This review focuses largely on the mechanisms involved in chemotherapy-induced neuropathy and the effects of the activation of PPARγ to treat CINP. It is the aim of this review to help understanding and developing novel CINP therapeutic strategies integrating PPARγ signalling.