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      Effect of Ethyl Pyruvate on Paclitaxel-Induced Neuropathic Pain in Rats

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          Abstract

          Background

          Although paclitaxel is a widely used chemotherapeutic agent for the treatment of solid cancers, side effects such as neuropathic pain lead to poor compliance and discontinuation of the therapy. Ethyl pyruvate (EP) is known to have analgesic effects in several pain models and may inhibit apoptosis. The present study was designed to investigate the analgesic effects of EP on mechanical allodynia and apoptosis in dorsal root ganglion (DRG) cells after paclitaxel administration.

          Methods

          Rats were randomly divided into 3 groups: 1) a control group, which received only vehicle; 2) a paclitaxel group, which received paclitaxel; and 3) an EP group, which received EP after paclitaxel administration. Mechanical allodynia was tested before and at 7 and 14 days after final paclitaxel administration. Fourteen days after paclitaxel treatment, DRG apoptosis was determined by activated caspase-3 immunoreactivity (IR).

          Results

          Post-treatment with EP did not significantly affect paclitaxel-induced allodynia, although it tended to slightly reduce sensitivities to mechanical stimuli after paclitaxel administration. After paclitaxel administration, an increase in caspase-3 IR in DRG cells was observed, which was co-localized with NF200-positive myelinated neurons. Post-treatment with EP decreased the paclitaxel-induced caspase-3 IR. Paclitaxel administration or post-treatment with EP did not alter the glial fibrillary acidic protein IRs in DRG cells.

          Conclusions

          Inhibition of apoptosis in DRG neurons by EP may not be critical in paclitaxel-induced mechanical allodynia.

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          Most cited references 42

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          Quantitative assessment of tactile allodynia in the rat paw.

           J Pogrel,  F. Bach,  T L Yaksh (1994)
          We applied and validated a quantitative allodynia assessment technique, using a recently developed rat surgical neuropathy model wherein nocifensive behaviors are evoked by light touch to the paw. Employing von Frey hairs from 0.41 to 15.1 g, we first characterized the percent response at each stimulus intensity. A smooth log-linear relationship was observed, with a median 50% threshold at 1.97 g (95% confidence limits, 1.12-3.57 g). Subsequently, we applied a paradigm using stimulus oscillation around the response threshold, which allowed more rapid, efficient measurements. Median 50% threshold by this up-down method was 2.4 g (1.81-2.76). Correlation coefficient between the two methods was 0.91. In neuropathic rats, good intra- and inter-observer reproducibility was found for the up-down paradigm; some variability was seen in normal rats, attributable to extensive testing. Thresholds in a sizable group of neuropathic rats showed insignificant variability over 20 days. After 50 days, 61% still met strict neuropathy criteria, using survival analysis. Threshold measurement using the up-down paradigm, in combination with the neuropathic pain model, represents a powerful tool for analyzing the effects of manipulations of the neuropathic pain state.
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            Microtubules as a target for anticancer drugs.

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              Pathobiology of neuropathic pain.

              This review deals with physiological and biological mechanisms of neuropathic pain, that is, pain induced by injury or disease of the nervous system. Animal models of neuropathic pain mostly use injury to a peripheral nerve, therefore, our focus is on results from nerve injury models. To make sure that the nerve injury models are related to pain, the behavior was assessed of animals following nerve injury, i.e. partial/total nerve transection/ligation or chronic nerve constriction. The following behaviors observed in such animals are considered to indicate pain: (a) autotomy, i.e. self-attack, assessed by counting the number of wounds implied, (b) hyperalgesia, i.e. strong withdrawal responses to a moderate heat stimulus, (c) allodynia, i.e. withdrawal in response to non-noxious tactile or cold stimuli. These behavioral parameters have been exploited to study the pharmacology and modulation of neuropathic pain. Nerve fibers develop abnormal ectopic excitability at or near the site of nerve injury. The mechanisms include unusual distributions of Na(+) channels, as well as abnormal responses to endogenous pain producing substances and cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha). Persistent abnormal excitability of sensory nerve endings in a neuroma is considered a mechanism of stump pain after amputation. Any local nerve injury tends to spread to distant parts of the peripheral and central nervous system. This includes erratic mechano-sensitivity along the injured nerve including the cell bodies in the dorsal root ganglion (DRG) as well as ongoing activity in the dorsal horn. The spread of pathophysiology includes upregulation of nitric oxide synthase (NOS) in axotomized neurons, deafferentation hypersensitivity of spinal neurons following afferent cell death, long-term potentiation (LTP) of spinal synaptic transmission and attenuation of central pain inhibitory mechanisms. In particular, the efficacy of opioids at the spinal level is much decreased following nerve injury. Repeated or prolonged noxious stimulation and the persistent abnormal input following nerve injury activate a number of intracellular second messenger systems, implying phosphorylation by protein kinases, particularly protein kinase C (PKC). Intracellular signal cascades result in immediate early gene (IEG) induction which is considered as the overture of a widespread change in protein synthesis, a general basis for nervous system plasticity. Although these processes of increasing nervous system excitability may be considered as a strategy to compensate functional deficits following nerve injury, its by-product is widespread nervous system sensitization resulting in pain and hyperalgesia. An important sequela of nerve injury and other nervous system diseases such as virus attack is apoptosis of neurons in the peripheral and central nervous system. Apoptosis seems to induce neuronal sensitization and loss of inhibitory systems, and these irreversible processes might be in common to nervous system damage by brain trauma or ischemia as well as neuropathic pain. The cellular pathobiology including apoptosis suggests future strategies against neuropathic pain that emphasize preventive aspects.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Korean J Pain
                Korean J Pain
                KJP
                The Korean Journal of Pain
                The Korean Pain Society
                2005-9159
                2093-0569
                April 2013
                03 April 2013
                : 26
                : 2
                : 135-141
                Affiliations
                Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
                Author notes
                Correspondence to: Jeong Hun Suh, MD. Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, 388-1 Pungnap 2-dong, Songpa-gu, Seoul 138-736, Korea. Tel: +82-2-3010-3868; Fax: +82-2-3010-6790, paindrsuh@ 123456gmail.com
                Article
                10.3344/kjp.2013.26.2.135
                3629339
                23614074
                Copyright © The Korean Pain Society, 2013

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/), which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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