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2020 Sep 28

Toxins (Basel)



Long-Lasting and Additive Analgesic Effects of Combined Treatment of Bee Venom Acupuncture and Venlafaxine on Paclitaxel-Induced Allodynia in Mice.


Paclitaxel, a primary chemotherapeutic agent used to treat numerous solid malignancies, is commonly associated with debilitating peripheral neuropathy. However, a satisfactory gold-standard monotherapy for this neuropathic pain is not currently available. A combination strategy of two or more medications with different properties may achieve more beneficial effects than monotherapy. Thus, we investigated the analgesic efficacies and spinal mechanisms of the combination strategy, including bee venom acupuncture (BVA) and venlafaxine (VLX) against paclitaxel-induced allodynia in mice. Four intraperitoneal infusions of paclitaxel on alternating days (2 mg/kg/day) induced cold and mechanical allodynia for at least 1 week as assessed using acetone and the von Frey hair test, respectively. Co-treatment of BVA (1.0 mg/kg, s.c., ST36) with VLX (40 mg/kg, i.p.) at the medium dose produced a longer-lasting and additive effect than each monotherapy at the highest dose (BVA, 2.5 mg/kg; VLX, 60 mg/kg). Spinal pre-administration of idazoxan (α-adrenergic receptor antagonist, 10 μg), methysergide (mixed 5-HT/5-HT receptor antagonist, 10 μg), or MDL-72222 (5-HT receptor antagonist, 10 μg) abolished this analgesia. These results suggest that the combination therapy with BVA and VLX produces long-lasting and additive analgesic effects on paclitaxel-induced allodynia, via the spinal noradrenergic and serotonergic mechanism, providing a promising clinical strategy.