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Papers of the Week

Papers: 12 Feb 2022 - 18 Feb 2022

Animal Studies

2022 Feb 08

Neurosci Lett

Participation of transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 in the analgesic effect of duloxetine for paclitaxel induced peripheral neuropathic pain.


Painful peripheral neuropathy is a common dose-limiting side effect of chemotherapeutic paclitaxel (PTX) treatment. The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) recommends duloxetine (DUL) as a promising treatment alternative for chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathic pain. However, this recommendation lacks a robust theoretical basis and supporting data. To elucidate the involvement of transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) in the analgesic effect of DUL for PTX-induced neuropathic pain, TRPV1 expression in the lumbar dorsal root ganglion (DRG) and spinal cord was evaluated following intraperitoneal administration of PTX (2mg/kg/day) for four alternate days in rats. Western blot and immunohistochemistry suggested that a cumulative dosage of PTX (8 mg/kg) upregulated TRPV1 expression in the lumbar DRG and spinal dorsal horn (SDH) at day 14 post treatment. TRPV1 upregulation in the DRG was mainly expressed in calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) and IB-4 positive small-size sensory neurons. Additionally, PTX increased CGRP and substance P (SP) expression in the DRG and SDH, induced SDH microglia and astrocyte activation, and upregulated spinal tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) but not IL-1β or IL-10 expression. Behavioral detection showed that PTX-related mechanical and thermal hyperalgesia was significantly inhibited by consecutive administration of DUL 20 mg/kg/day greater than 10 mg/kg/day for 5 days starting at day 10 post PTX injection. Furthermore, DUL (20 mg/kg/day) for 5 days markedly ameliorated PTX-induced TRPV1, CGRP, and SP upregulation in the DRG and SDH, and mitigated PTX-induced spinal cord glia activation and TNF-α expression. Moreover, the pharmacological blockade of TRPV1 resulted in an analgesic effect on PTX-induced hyperalgesia. Collectively, these results suggest that DUL alleviates PTX-induced peripheral neuropathic pain by suppressing TRPV1 upregulation in the lumbar DRG and SDH, which is followed by a reduction in CGRP and SP release, as well as spinal glia activation and TNF-α expression.