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Papers of the Week

Papers: 6 May 2023 - 12 May 2023

Basic Science

Animal Studies, Molecular/Cellular, Neurobiology, Pharmacology/Drug Development, Sex Differences

Neuropathic Pain

2023 May 05

Brain Behav Immun


Editor's Pick

Intrathecal Administration of Conditioned Serum from Different Species Resolves Chemotherapy-Induced Neuropathic Pain in Mice via Secretory Exosomes.


Buchheit T, Huh Y, Breglio A, Bang S, Xu J, Matsuoka Y, Guo R, Bortsov A, Reinecke J, Wehling P, Jun Huang T, Ji RR


Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) is the most prevalent neurological complication of chemotherapy for cancer, and has limited effective treatment options. Autologous conditioned serum (ACS) is an effective biologic therapy used by intra-articular injection for patients with osteoarthritis. However, ACS has not been systematically tested in the treatment of peripheral neuropathies such as CIPN. It has been generally assumed that the analgesic effect of this biologic therapy results from augmented concentrations of anti-inflammatory cytokines and growth factors. Here we report that a single intrathecal injection of human conditioned serum (hCS) produced long-lasting inhibition of paclitaxel chemotherapy-induced neuropathic pain (mechanical allodynia) in mice, without causing motor impairment. Strikingly, the analgesic effect of hCS in our experiments was maintained even 8 weeks after the treatment, compared with non-conditioned human serum (hNCS). Furthermore, the hCS transfer-induced pain relief in mice was fully recapitulated by rat or mouse CS transfer to mice of both sexes, indicating cross-species and cross-sex effectiveness. Mechanistically, CS treatment blocked the chemotherapy-induced glial reaction in the spinal cord and improved nerve conduction. Compared to NCS, CS contained significantly higher concentrations of anti-inflammatory and pro-resolving mediators, including IL-1Ra, TIMP-1, TGF-β1, and resolvins D1/D2. Intrathecal injection of anti-TGF- β1 and anti-Il-1Ra antibody transiently reversed the analgesic action of CS. Nanoparticle tracking analysis revealed that rat conditioned serum contained a significantly greater number of exosomes than NCS. Importantly, the removal of exosomes by high-speed centrifugation largely diminished the ACS-produced pain relief, suggesting a critical involvement of small vesicles (exosomes) in ACS’ beneficial effects. Together, our findings demonstrate that intrathecal CS produces a remarkable resolution of neuropathic pain mediated through a combination of small vesicles/exosomes and neuroimmune/neuroglial modulation.