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Papers of the Week

Papers: 21 Mar 2020 - 27 Mar 2020

Animal Studies, Pharmacology/Drug Development

2020 Mar 19

Acta Pharmacol Sin

Nrf2 activation ameliorates mechanical allodynia in paclitaxel-induced neuropathic pain.


Zhou Y-Q, Liu D-Q, Chen S-P, Chen N, Sun J, Wang X-M, Cao F, Tian Y-K, Ye D-W
Acta Pharmacol Sin. 2020 Mar 19.
PMID: 32203087.


Paclitaxel-induced neuropathic pain (PINP) is refractory to currently used analgesics. Previous studies show a pivotal role of oxidative stress in PINP. Because the nuclear factor erythroid-2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) has been considered as the critical regulator of endogenous antioxidant defense, we here explored whether activation of Nrf2 could attenuate PINP. A rat model of PINP was established by intraperitoneal injection of paclitaxel (2 mg/kg) every other day with a final cumulative dose of 8 mg/kg. Hind paw withdrawal thresholds (PWTs) in response to von Frey filament stimuli were used to assess mechanical allodynia. We showed that a single dose of Nrf2 activator, oltipraz (10, 50, and 100 mg/kg), dose-dependently attenuated established mechanical allodynia, whereas repeated injection of oltipraz (100 mg· kg· d, i.p. from d 14 to d 18) almost abolished the mechanical allodynia in PINP rats. The antinociceptive effect of oltipraz was blocked by pre-injection of Nrf2 inhibitor trigonelline (20 mg/kg, i.p.). Early treatment with oltipraz (100 mg· kg· d, i.p. from d 0 to d 6) failed to prevent the development of the PINP, but delayed its onset. Western blot and immunofluorescence analysis revealed that the expression levels of Nrf2 and HO-1 were significantly upregulated in the spinal cord of PINP rats. Repeated injection of oltipraz caused further elevation of the expression levels of Nrf2 and HO-1 in the spinal cord of PINP rats, which was reversed by pre-injection of trigonelline. These results demonstrate that oltipraz ameliorates PINP via activating Nrf2/HO-1-signaling pathway in the spinal cord.