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Papers of the Week

Papers: 11 Feb 2023 - 17 Feb 2023

Basic Science

Animal Studies, Molecular/Cellular, Pharmacology/Drug Development

Cancer Pain, Neuropathic Pain

2023 Feb 11

J Neuroinflammation




Editor's Pick

Inducible co-stimulatory molecule (ICOS) alleviates paclitaxel-induced neuropathic pain via an IL-10-mediated mechanism in female mice.


Sankaranarayanan I, Tavares-Ferreira D, Mwirigi JM, Mejia GL, Burton MD, Price TJ


Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) is a primary dose-limiting side effect caused by antineoplastic agents, such as paclitaxel. A primary symptom of this neuropathy is pain. Currently, there are no effective treatments for CIPN, which can lead to long-term morbidity in cancer patients and survivors. Neuro-immune interactions occur in CIPN pain and have been implicated both in the development and progression of pain in CIPN and the resolution of pain in CIPN. We investigated the potential role of inducible co-stimulatory molecule (ICOS) in the resolution of CIPN pain-like behaviors in mice. ICOS is an immune checkpoint molecule that is expressed on the surface of activated T cells and promotes proliferation and differentiation of T cells. We found that intrathecal administration of ICOS agonist antibody (ICOSaa) alleviates mechanical hypersensitivity caused by paclitaxel and facilitates the resolution of mechanical hypersensitivity in female mice. Administration of ICOSaa reduced astrogliosis in the spinal cord and satellite cell gliosis in the DRG of mice previously treated with paclitaxel. Mechanistically, ICOSaa intrathecal treatment promoted mechanical hypersensitivity resolution by increasing interleukin 10 (IL-10) expression in the dorsal root ganglion. In line with these observations, blocking IL-10 receptor (IL-10R) activity occluded the effects of ICOSaa treatment on mechanical hypersensitivity in female mice. Suggesting a broader activity in neuropathic pain, ICOSaa also partially resolved mechanical hypersensitivity in the spared nerve injury (SNI) model. Our findings support a model wherein ICOSaa administration induces IL-10 expression to facilitate neuropathic pain relief in female mice. ICOSaa treatment is in clinical development for solid tumors and given our observation of T cells in the human DRG, ICOSaa therapy could be developed for combination chemotherapy-CIPN clinical trials.