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Papers of the Week

Papers: 20 May 2023 - 26 May 2023

Basic Science

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

Cancer Pain, Neuropathic Pain

2023 May 22



Trimethoxyflavanone relieves Paclitaxel-induced neuropathic pain via inhibiting expression and activation of P2X7 and production of CGRP in mice.


Mei C, Pan C, Xu L, Miao M, Lu Q, Yu Y, Lin P, Wu W, Ni F, Gao Y, Xu Y, Xu J, Chen X


Paclitaxel (PTX) is an anticancer drug used to treat solid tumors, but one of its common adverse effects is chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN). Currently, there is limited understanding of neuropathic pain associated with CIPN and effective treatment strategies are inadequate. Previous studies report the analgesic actions of Naringenin, a dihydroflavonoid compound, in pain. Here we observed that the anti-nociceptive action of a Naringenin derivative, Trimethoxyflavanone (Y3), was superior to Naringenin in PTX-induced pain (PIP). An intrathecal injection of Y3 (1 μg) reversed the mechanical and thermal thresholds of PIP and suppressed the PTX-induced hyper-excitability of dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons. PTX enhanced the expression of ionotropic purinergic receptor P2X7 (P2X7) in satellite glial cells (SGCs) and neurons in DRGs. The molecular docking simulation predicts possible interactions between Y3 and P2X7. Y3 reduced the PTX-enhanced P2X7 expression in DRGs. Electrophysiological recordings revealed that Y3 directly inhibited P2X7-mediated currents in DRG neurons of PTX-treated mice, suggesting that Y3 suppressed both expression and function of P2X7 in DRGs post-PTX administration. Y3 also reduced the production of calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) in DRGs and at the spinal dorsal horn. Additionally, Y3 suppressed the PTX-enhanced infiltration of Iba1-positive macrophage-like cells in DRGs and overactivation of spinal astrocytes and microglia. Therefore, our results indicate that Y3 attenuates PIP via inhibiting P2X7 function, CGRP production, DRG neuron sensitization, and abnormal spinal glial activation. Our study implies that Y3 could be a promising drug candidate against CIPN-associated pain and neurotoxicity.