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Papers of the Week

Papers: 5 Aug 2023 - 11 Aug 2023

Basic Science

Animal Studies, Neurobiology, Pharmacology/Drug Development

Cancer Pain, Inflammation/Inflammatory, Neuropathic Pain

2023 Aug 07



Broad-spectrum neuroprotection exerted by DDD-028 in a mouse model of chemotherapy-induced neuropathy.


Lucarini E, Micheli L, Rajagopalan R, Ciampi C, Branca JJV, Pacini A, Leandri M, Rajagopalan P, Ghelardini C, Di Cesare Mannelli L


Neurotoxicity of chemotherapeutics involves peculiar alterations in the structure and function, including abnormal nerve signal transmission, of both the peripheral and central nervous system. The lack of effective pharmacological approaches to prevent chemotherapy-induced neurotoxicity necessitates the identification of innovative therapies. Recent evidence suggests that repeated treatment with the pentacyclic pyridoindole derivative DDD-028 can exert both pain-relieving and glial modulatory effects in mice with paclitaxel-induced neuropathy. This work is aimed at assessing whether DDD-028 is a disease-modifying agent by protecting the peripheral nervous tissues from chemotherapy-induced damage. Neuropathy was induced in animals by paclitaxel injection (2.0 mg kg-1 i.p). DDD-028 (10 mg kg-1) and the reference drug, pregabalin (30 mg kg-1), were administered per os daily starting concomitantly with the first injection of paclitaxel and continuing 10 days after the end of paclitaxel treatment. The behavioural tests confirmed the antihyperalgesic efficacy of DDD-028 on paclitaxel-induced neuropathic pain. Furthermore, the electrophysiological analysis revealed the capacity of DDD-028 to restore near-normal sensory nerve conduction in paclitaxel-treated animals. Histopathology evidence indicated that DDD-028 was able to counteract effectively paclitaxel-induced peripheral neurotoxicity by protecting against the loss of intraepidermal nerve fibers, restoring physiological levels of neurofilament in nerve tissue and plasma, and preventing morphological alterations occurring in the sciatic nerves and dorsal root ganglia. Overall, DDD-028 is more effective than pregabalin in preventing chemotherapy-induced neurotoxicity. Thus, based on its potent antihyperalgesic and neuroprotective efficacy, DDD-028 seems to be a viable prophylactic medication to limit the development of neuropathies consequent to chemotherapy.