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Abstract

Peripheral neuropathy is one of the most common, dose limiting, and long-lasting disabling adverse events of chemotherapy treatment. Unfortunately, no treatment has proven efficacy to prevent this adverse effect in patients or improve the nerve regeneration, once it is established. Experimental models, particularly using rats and mice, are useful to investigate the mechanisms related to axonal or neuronal degeneration and target loss of function induced by neurotoxic drugs, as well as to test new strategies to prevent the development of neuropathy and to improve functional restitution. Therefore, objective and reliable methods should be applied for the assessment of function and innervation in adequately designed in vivo studies of CIPN, taking into account the impact of age, sex and species/strains features. This review gives an overview of the most useful methods to assess sensory, motor and autonomic functions, electrophysiological and morphological tests in rodent models of peripheral neuropathy, focused on CIPN. We include as well a proposal of protocols that may improve the quality and comparability of studies undertaken in different laboratories. It is recommended to apply more than one functional method for each type of function, and to perform parallel morphological studies in the same targets and models.

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... Dolognawmeter (Ye et al., 2011;Lam et al., 2012;Scheff et al., 2017;Scheff et al., 2018;Ye et al., 2018; Hargreaves, hot plate, acetone, cold plantar test (Chine et al., 2019;Luo et al., 2019;Shahid et al., 2019;Tonello et al., 2019;Bruna et al., 2020) ...
... Sensory and motor nerve conduction, functional autonomic tests, rota-rod, gait analysis Laumet et al., 2019;Luo et al., 2019;Bruna et al., 2020) Spontaneous ...
... Burrowing, wheel running, CPP, adhesive recognition test (Park et al., 2013;Flatters et al., 2017;Laumet et al., 2019;Toma et al., 2019;Bruna et al., 2020) Open field, CPP, hunching, vocalization (Roughan et al., 2004b;Roughan et al., 2014) Frontiers in Pharmacology | www.frontiersin.org ...
Article
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The incidence of pain in cancer patients during diagnosis and treatment is exceedingly high. Although advances in cancer detection and therapy have improved patient prognosis, cancer and its treatment-associated pain have gained clinical prominence. The biological mechanisms involved in cancer-related pain are multifactorial; different processes for pain may be responsible depending on the type and anatomic location of cancer. Animal models of cancer-related pain have provided mechanistic insights into the development and process of pain under a dynamic molecular environment. However, while cancer-evoked nociceptive responses in animals reflect some of the patients’ symptoms, the current models have failed to address the complexity of interactions within the natural disease state. Although there has been a recent convergence of the investigation of carcinogenesis and pain neurobiology, identification of new targets for novel therapies to treat cancer-related pain requires standardization of methodologies within the cancer pain field as well as across disciplines. Limited success of translation from preclinical studies to the clinic may be due to our poor understanding of the crosstalk between cancer cells and their microenvironment (e.g., sensory neurons, infiltrating immune cells, stromal cells etc.). This relatively new line of inquiry also highlights the broader limitations in translatability and interpretation of basic cancer pain research. The goal of this review is to summarize recent findings in cancer pain based on preclinical animal models, discuss the translational benefit of these discoveries, and propose considerations for future translational models of cancer pain.
... However, studying OIPN in animal models has its own challenges. The majority of chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy studies in rodents are heterogeneous in nature with respect to strain, sex, dosage, route of administration, duration of treatment, and outcome measures which hinder comparison between studies (18). Genetic diversity among different strains of rodents can influence responses to pain and neuropathy assays (19). ...
... Oxaliplatin did not alter burrowing activity in C57BL/6J mice when observed after completion of the first and second treatment regimens [F (1,18) ...
Article
Full-text available
Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) is a common, dose limiting, and long-lasting side effect of chemotherapy treatment. Unfortunately, no treatment has proven efficacious for this side effect. Rodent models play a crucial role in the discovery of new mechanisms underlying the initiation, progression, and recovery of CIPN and the potential discovery of new therapeutics. However, there is limited consistency in the dose, the sex, age, and genetic background of the animal used in these studies and the outcome measures used in evaluation of CIPN rely primarily on noxious and reflexive measures. The main objective of this study was to provide a comprehensive and systematic characterization of oxaliplatin-induced peripheral neuropathy in mice by using a battery of behavioral, sensory, electrophysiological, and morphometric measures in both sexes of the two widely used strains of mice, C57BL/6J and BALB/cJ. Mice received intraperitoneal injections of 3 mg/kg or 30 mg/kg cumulative doses of oxaliplatin over the course of two weeks. Both doses induced long-term and time-dependent mechanical and cold hypersensitivity. Our results show that 30 mg/kg oxaliplatin reduced the locomotor activity in C57BL/6J mice, and C57BL/6J females showed anxiety-like behavior one-week post completion of treatment. In the same dose group, BALB/cJ males and females sustained a larger decrease in sucrose preference than either male or female C57BL/6J mice. Both strains failed to show significant changes in burrowing and nesting behaviors. Two clinically relevant assessments of changes to the peripheral nerve fibers, nerve conduction and intraepidermal nerve fiber density (IENFD) were evaluated. Only BALB/cJ females showed significant reduction in the nerve conduction amplitude one week after 30 mg/kg oxaliplatin regimen. Moreover, this dose of the chemo agent reduced the IENF density in both sexes and strains. Our findings suggest that mouse strain, sex, and assay type should be carefully considered when assessing the effects of oxaliplatin and potential therapeutic interventions.
... Changes in the density of small nerve fibers innervating the epidermis are an important feature of the CIPN [20]. Thus, in order to evaluate the impact of paclitaxel and fenofibrate diet treatment on intra-epidermal nerve fibers (IENFs), an analysis of IENF density was performed using immunohistochemistry. ...
... Paclitaxel-induced peripheral neuropathy is considered a major side effect endured by patients receiving chemotherapy. Unfortunately, these symptoms (burning pain, cold and mechanical allodynia, etc.) can cause patients to choose to reduce the dose of chemotherapy, change the chemotherapeutic agent or discontinue the treatment [3,20]. To date, we only have unsatisfactory symptomatic treatments available to reduce pain, such as antidepressants, duloxetine and morphine [22]. ...
Article
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Background: Paclitaxel-induced peripheral neuropathy (PIPN) is a major adverse effect of this chemotherapeutic agent that is used in the treatment of a number of solid malignancies. PIPN leads notably to burning pain, cold and mechanical allodynia. PIPN is thought to be a consequence of alterations of mitochondrial function, hyperexcitability of neurons, nerve fiber loss, oxidative stress and neuroinflammation in dorsal root ganglia (DRG) and spinal cord (SC). Therefore, reducing neuroinflammation could potentially attenuate neuropathy symptoms. Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-α (PPAR-α) nuclear receptors that modulate inflammatory responses can be targeted by non-selective agonists, such as fenofibrate, which is used in the treatment of dyslipidemia. Methods: Our studies tested the efficacy of a fenofibrate diet (0.2% and 0.4%) in preventing the development of PIPN. Paclitaxel (8 mg/kg) was administered via 4 intraperitoneal (i.p.) injections in C57BL/6J mice (both male and female). Mechanical and cold hypersensitivity, wheel running activity, sensory nerve action potential (SNAP), sciatic nerve histology, intra-epidermal fibers, as well as the expression of PPAR-α and neuroinflammation were evaluated in DRG and SC. Results: Fenofibrate in the diet partially prevented the development of mechanical hypersensitivity but completely prevented cold hypersensitivity and the decrease in wheel running activity induced by paclitaxel. The reduction in SNAP amplitude induced by paclitaxel was also prevented by fenofibrate. Our results indicate that suppression of paclitaxel-induced pain by fenofibrate involves the regulation of PPAR-α expression through reduction in neuroinflammation. Finally, co-administration of paclitaxel and the active metabolite of fenofibrate (fenofibric acid) did not interfere with the suppression of tumor cell growth or clonogenicity by paclitaxel in ovarian and breast cancer cell lines. Conclusions: Taken together, our results show the therapeutic potential of fenofibrate in the prevention of PIPN development.
... Always in this translational approach, electrophysiological aspects have been performed by the measures of amplitude of sensory nerve action potential (SNAP). Indeed, this test is one of the most transposable between human and animal models (Bruna et al., 2020). Moreover it is widely demonstrated that paclitaxel decreases the number of nerve fibers and thus the amplitude of SNAP (Bruna et al., 2020). ...
... Indeed, this test is one of the most transposable between human and animal models (Bruna et al., 2020). Moreover it is widely demonstrated that paclitaxel decreases the number of nerve fibers and thus the amplitude of SNAP (Bruna et al., 2020). The electrophysiological data on caudal nerve shown that the reduction of SNAP amplitude induced by paclitaxel was reversed by fenofibrate (150 mg/ kg, i.p) and choline-fenofibrate (60 mg/kg, p.o.). ...
Article
Background and purpose Paclitaxel, a widely used anti-cancer drug, is frequently associated with prolonged and severe peripheral neuropathies (PIPN), associated with neuroinflammation. Currently, PIPN effective treatments are lacking. Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor-α (PPAR-⍺) can modulate inflammatory responses. Thus, the use of PPAR-⍺ agonists, such as fibrates (fenofibrate and choline-fenofibrate), currently used in dyslipidemia treatment, could represent an interesting therapeutic approach in PIPN. Experimental approach: Our studies tested the efficacy of fenofibrate (150mg/kg, daily, i.p.) and choline fenofibrate (60mg/kg daily, p.o.) in reversing and preventing the development of PIPN (paclitaxel: 8mg/kg, i.p., every other day for 4 days) in male and female C57BL/6J mice. Mechanical and cold hypersensitivity, conditioned place preference, sensory nerve action potential (SNAP), as well as the expression of PPAR-⍺, TNF-⍺, IL-1β and IL-6 mRNA were evaluated. Key results: While fenofibrate treatment partially reversed and prevented the development of mechanical hypersensitivity, this was completely reversed and prevented by choline-fenofibrate. Both fibrates were able to completely reverse and prevent cold hypersensitivity induced by paclitaxel. The reduction of SNAP amplitude induced by paclitaxel was also reversed by both fenofibrate and choline-fenofibrate. Our results indicate that suppression of paclitaxel-induced hypersensitivity by fibrates involves the regulation of PPAR-⍺ expression and decrease neuroinflammation in DRG. Finally, the co-treatment of Paclitaxel and fenofibric acid (fibrates active metabolite) was tested on different cancer cell lines, no decrease in the antitumoral effect of paclitaxel was observed. Conclusions and implications: Taken together, our results show for the first time the therapeutic potential (prevention and reversal) of fibrates in PIPN and opens to a potential pharmacological repurposing of these drugs.
... However, studying OIPN in animal models has its own challenges. The majority of chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy studies in rodents are heterogeneous in nature with respect to strain, sex, dosage, route of administration, duration of treatment, and outcome measures which hinder comparison between studies (18). Genetic diversity among different strains of rodents can influence responses to pain and neuropathy assays (19). ...
... Oxaliplatin did not alter burrowing activity in C57BL/6J mice when observed after completion of the first and second treatment regimens [F (1,18) ...
Article
Full-text available
Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) is a common, dose limiting, and long-lasting side effect of chemotherapy treatment. Unfortunately, no treatment has proven efficacious for this side effect. Rodent models play a crucial role in the discovery of new mechanisms underlying the initiation, progression, and recovery of CIPN and the potential discovery of new therapeutics. However, there is limited consistency in the dose, the sex, age, and genetic background of the animal used in these studies and the outcome measures used in evaluation of CIPN rely primarily on noxious and reflexive measures. The main objective of this study was to provide a comprehensive and systematic characterization of oxaliplatin-induced peripheral neuropathy in mice by using a battery of behavioral, sensory, electrophysiological, and morphometric measures in both sexes of the two widely used strains of mice, C57BL/6J and BALB/cJ. Mice received intraperitoneal injections of 3 or 30 mg/kg cumulative doses of oxaliplatin over the course of 2 weeks. Both doses induced long-term and time-dependent mechanical and cold hypersensitivity. Our results show that 30 mg/kg oxaliplatin reduced the locomotor activity in C57BL/6J mice, and C57BL/6J females showed anxiety-like behavior one-week post completion of treatment. In the same dose group, BALB/cJ males and females sustained a larger decrease in sucrose preference than either male or female C57BL/6J mice. Both strains failed to show significant changes in burrowing and nesting behaviors. Two clinically relevant assessments of changes to the peripheral nerve fibers, nerve conduction and intraepidermal nerve fiber density (IENFD) were evaluated. Only BALB/cJ females showed significant reduction in the nerve conduction amplitude 1 week after 30 mg/kg oxaliplatin regimen. Moreover, this dose of the chemo agent reduced the IENF density in both sexes and strains. Our findings suggest that mouse strain, sex, and assay type should be carefully considered when assessing the effects of oxaliplatin and potential therapeutic interventions.
... The pain-alleviating properties of the chemical constituents of the C. sativa plant have been appreciated since ancient times but are now supported in diverse animal models of a variety of pain states, from nociceptive to inflammatory to neuropathic pain. Rodent models of CIPN have been developed using mice and rats and are sensitive to many of the sensory, electrophysiological, and histological changes observed in humans exposed to an array of chemotherapeutic regimens (10). A range of cannabinoids has been tested to determine whether they can either prevent the development of or reverse the effects of CIPN, with promising results that occur from interactions with the endocannabinoid system and related receptor targets. ...
Article
The use of cannabis is not unfamiliar to many cancer patients, as there is a long history of its use for cancer pain and/or pain, nausea, and cachexia induced by cancer treatment. To date, the US Food and Drug Administration has approved 2 cannabis-based pharmacotherapies for the treatment of cancer chemotherapy-associated adverse effects: dronabinol and nabilone. Over the proceeding decades, both research investigating and societal attitudes toward the potential utility of cannabinoids for a range of indications have progressed dramatically. The following monograph highlights recent preclinical research focusing on promising cannabinoid-based approaches for the treatment of the 2 most common adverse effects of cancer chemotherapy: chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy and chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. Both plant-derived and synthetic approaches are discussed, as is the potential relative safety and effectiveness of these approaches in relation to current treatment options, including opioid analgesics.
... Journal of Ethnopharmacology xxx (xxxx) 114788 whether the administered essential oil or its main constituent citronellal alter mice coordination and strength. This test is not completely specific since it can significantly be influenced by the abnormalities occurring due to sensory/motor nerve dysfunction (Bruna et al., 2020) or after the administration of some CNS-acting drugs (Luszczki et al., 2005). Also, it has been suggested that different mice strains might exert completely different learning behavior in RRT (McFadyen et al., 2003), whereby BALB/c mice were found not to be the best learning strain, but also not the worst one. ...
Article
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Ethnopharmacological relevance Besides psyche-related symptoms, patients with anxiety disorders can have a large number of somatic symptoms as well. Although the treatment of these disorders is mainly focused on resolving their mental component, one cannot neglect the need for the treatment of accompanying somatic symptoms. Melissa officinalis L. (lemon balm), in various formulations, has been extensively used as an ethnomedicinal remedy for the treatment of different psyche-related symptoms, and its use is considered relatively safe. Aim of the study: In the present study, the activity of M. officinalis (MO) essential oil was evaluated in several in vitro and in vivo models mimicking or involving anxiety-related somatic symptoms. Materials and methods To address the effect of MO essential oil on the gastrointestinal and heart-related symptoms accompanying anxiety disorders, in vitro models were utilized that follow the function of the isolated mouse ileum and atria tissues, respectively, after exposure to MO essential oil. Effects of MO essential oil on BALB/c mice motor activity was estimated using the open field, rota-rod, and horizontal wire tests. Additionally, the essential oil was assayed for its potential in inhibiting acetylcholinesterase activity. Results The performance of mice treated with 25 mg/kg of the oil showed a statistically significant decrease in the motor impairment arising from acute anxiety (open field test), while there was a prolonged latency and a reduction of the frequency of falling from a rotating rod and/or a horizontal wire (signs of muscle weakness/spasms). Concentrations of the essential oil higher than 1 μg/mL were found to inhibit both spontaneous and induced ileum contractions. Moreover, the essential oil and citronellal were found to decrease isolated mouse atria contraction frequency, as well as contraction force. However, the oil was found to be a very weak acetylcholinesterase inhibitor. Conclusion The modulation of anxiety-related symptoms by the oil was found not to be mediated through the inhibition of the acetylcholinesterase, nonetheless, the mechanistic studies involving the ileum and cardiac tissues, revealed that the activity of MO and citronellal might be related to the modification of either voltage-gated Ca²⁺ channels or muscarinic receptors. Mice locomotion, balance, and muscle strength were not impacted by the essential oil; however, its main constituent, citronellal, was found to exert a certain degree of muscle function inhibition. All these results suggest that the activity of MO essential oil arises from synergistic and/or antagonistic interactions of its constituents, and is not completely dependent on the oil's main constituent.
... The different reported effects may depend on several aspects: the species, the strain, the age, the sex, the dosage, and the treatment schedule. In particular, high doses of chemotherapy might be useful to obtain evident histopathological alterations and increased inflammatory response, but they could be far from a clinically relevant dose (221). Indeed, several CIPN-inducer agents seem to affect the same immunological targets despite the underlying pathways may be different. ...
Article
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Peripheral neuropathies are characterized by nerves damage and axonal loss, and they could be classified in hereditary or acquired forms. Acquired peripheral neuropathies are associated with several causes, including toxic agent exposure, among which the antineoplastic compounds are responsible for the so called Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy (CIPN). Several clinical features are related to the use of anticancer drugs which exert their action by affecting different mechanisms and structures of the peripheral nervous system: the axons (axonopathy) or the dorsal root ganglia (DRG) neurons cell body (neuronopathy/ganglionopathy). In addition, antineoplastic treatments may affect the blood brain barrier integrity, leading to cognitive impairment that may be severe and long-lasting. CIPN may affect patient quality of life leading to modification or discontinuation of the anticancer therapy. Although the mechanisms of the damage are not completely understood, several hypotheses have been proposed, among which neuroinflammation is now emerging to be relevant in CIPN pathophysiology. In this review, we consider different aspects of neuro-immune interactions in several CIPN preclinical studies which suggest a critical connection between chemotherapeutic agents and neurotoxicity. The features of the neuroinflammatory processes may be different depending on the type of drug (platinum derivatives, taxanes, vinca alkaloids and proteasome inhibitors). In particular, recent studies have demonstrated an involvement of the immune response (both innate and adaptive) and the stimulation and secretion of mediators (cytokines and chemokines) that may be responsible for the painful symptoms, whereas glial cells such as satellite and Schwann cells might contribute to the maintenance of the neuroinflammatory process in DRG and axons respectively. Moreover, neuroinflammatory components have also been shown in the spinal cord with microglia and astrocytes playing an important role in CIPN development. Taking together, better understanding of these aspects would permit the development of possible strategies in order to improve the management of CIPN.
... This does not account for the chronicity of CIPN symptoms, potentially lasting up to more than 2 years in humans [101]. Hence, there is a need for a consensus in the dosing of different neurotoxic anticancer drugs and choice of animals to improve the ability to compare between studies and generalizability to human clinical research [102]. ...
Article
Survival rates of cancer has improved with the development of anticancer drugs including systemic chemotherapeutic agents. However, long-lasting side effects could impact treated patients. Neurotoxic anticancer drugs are specific agents which cause chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN), a debilitating condition that severely deteriorates quality of life of cancer patients and survivors. The ocular surface is also prone to neurotoxicity but investigation into the effects of neurotoxic chemotherapy on the ocular surface has been more limited compared to other systemic etiologies such as diabetes. There is also no standardized protocol for CIPN diagnosis with an absence of a reliable, objective method of observing nerve damage structurally. As the cornea is the most densely innervated region of the body, researchers have started to focus on corneal neuropathic changes that are associated with neurotoxic chemotherapy treatment. In-vivo corneal confocal microscopy enables rapid and objective structural imaging of ocular surface microscopic structures such as corneal nerves, while esthesiometers provide means of functional assessment by examining corneal sensitivity. The current article explores the current guidelines and gaps in our knowledge of CIPN diagnosis and the potential role of in-vivo corneal confocal microscopy as a diagnostic or prognostic tool. Corneal neuropathic changes with neurotoxic anticancer drugs from animal research progressing through to human clinical studies are also discussed, with a focus on how these data inform our understanding of CIPN.
... Slow intravenous (IV) infusion, lasting 2 h or more, is the standardof-care for platinum-based chemotherapies (PBCs) (Ibrahim et al., 2004), whereas bolus intraperitoneal (IP) injections are frequently used preclinically, secondary to its experimental simplicity. Potential differences in systemic and tissue exposure to PBCs has led to questions about the comparability of IP and IV routes of administration (Bruna et al., 2020). While IP and IV routes of administration have been directly compared in preclinical models (Pestieau et al., 2001), measures centered on serum and IP fluid concentration of PBCs. ...
Article
The persisting need for effective clinical treatment of chemotherapy-induced neurotoxicity (CIN) motivates critical evaluation of preclinical models of CIN for their translational relevance. The present study aimed to provide the first quantitative evaluation of neural tissue exposed in vivo to a platinum-based anticancer compound, oxaliplatin (OX) during and after two commonly used dosing regimens: slow IV infusion used clinically and bolus IP injection used preclinically. Inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometry analysis of dorsal root ganglia indicated that while differences in the temporal dynamics of platinum distribution exist, key drivers of neurotoxicity, e.g. peak concentrations and exposure, were not different across the two routes of administration. We conclude that the IP route of OX administration achieves clinically relevant pharmacokinetic exposure of neural tissues in a rodent model of CIN.
... However, this stabilization also does affect microtubules of sensory neurons in the DRG and axons of the PNS. Over the last decades, a number of in vitro and in vivo models for paclitaxel-induced neuropathy have been established (reviewed in [48,49]). There is evidence that paclitaxel impairs the transport of proteins, organelles, nutrients, neurotransmitters, and mRNA [50][51][52][53][54]. Downstream of impaired mitochondrial transport lay the undersupply of ATP, which is needed for axonal transport. ...
Article
Full-text available
Peripheral neuropathy is one of the most common side effects of chemotherapy, affecting up to 60% of all cancer patients receiving chemotherapy. Moreover, paclitaxel induces neuropathy in up to 97% of all gynecological and urological cancer patients. In cancer cells, paclitaxel induces cell death via microtubule stabilization interrupting cell mitosis. However, paclitaxel also affects cells of the central and peripheral nervous system. The main symptoms are pain and numbness in hands and feet due to paclitaxel accumulation in the dorsal root ganglia. This review describes in detail the pathomechanisms of paclitaxel in the peripheral nervous system. Symptoms occur due to a length-dependent axonal sensory neuropathy, where axons are symmetrically damaged and die back. Due to microtubule stabilization, axonal transport is disrupted, leading to ATP undersupply and oxidative stress. Moreover, mitochondria morphology is altered during paclitaxel treatment. A key player in pain sensation and axonal damage is the paclitaxel-induced inflammation in the spinal cord as well as the dorsal root ganglia. An increased expression of chemokines and cytokines such as IL-1β, IL-8, and TNF-α, but also CXCR4, RAGE, CXCL1, CXCL12, CX3CL1, and C3 promote glial activation and accumulation, and pain sensation. These findings are further elucidated in this review.
... Neurophysiology is the key: neurophysiological techniques can be performed with the same equipment and technique both in rodent models and clinical trials (Alberti, 2017). In a very recent review, Bruna et al. (Bruna et al., 2020) clearly stated that a high quality neurophysiology is mandatory in these preclinical models. In that way, preclinical pathogenetic observations (based on neuropathological studies that are not feasible at the bed side) can be promptly translated into a clinical setting. ...
Article
Objectives: Patients treated with cancer chemotherapeutics frequently report chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN), changes in mood (depression and anxiety) and functional impairments. Rodent models of CIPN elicit limited alterations in functional behaviors, which pose challenges in developing preclinical models of chemotherapy-induced behavioral depression. Methods: The study examined the consequences of chemotherapy-induced mechanical hypersensitivity (paclitaxel: 32 or 64 mg/kg, cumulative; oxaliplatin: 30 mg/kg, cumulative) on behavioral depression, as measured with operant responding for palatable food during periods of food restriction and ad libitum chow, consumption of noncontingently available palatable food in the presence of ad libitum chow, and voluntary wheel running. The study employed two inbred mouse strains (C57BL/6J and Balb/cJ) and examined potential sex differences. Results: All chemotherapeutic regimens caused profound mechanical hypersensitivity for the duration of the observation periods (up to 7 months), but no treatments changed voluntary wheel running or consumption of noncontingent palatable food. The high dose of paclitaxel temporarily reduced operant responding for palatable food in male C57BL/6J mice undergoing food restriction or maintained on ad libitum chow. However, paclitaxel failed to decrease operant responding for palatable food in free-feeding female C57BL/6J mice or Balb/cJ mice of either sex. Moreover, oxaliplatin did not significantly alter operant responding for palatable food in male or female C57BL/6J mice maintained on ad libitum chow. Conclusion: These findings demonstrate a dissociation between chemotherapy-induced mechanical hypersensitivity and behavioral depression. The transient effects of paclitaxel on operant responding in male C57BL/6J mice may represent a fleeting behavioral correlate of chemotherapy-associated pain-like behaviors.
Chapter
Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) is a severe side effect related to anticancer treatment, typically characterized by sensory symptoms including numbness, tingling in the distal extremities and neurophysiological impairments. CIPN is often painful, which is identified by adding a second “P” to the acronym. The incidence of CIPN is variable depending on the drug, pre-existing neuropathy, and clinical history, but generally increases with the cumulative dose and can also persist after treatment discontinuation. In the last 30 years, many rodent models of CIPN have been developed reproducing the clinical features of the pathology, useful to study the mechanisms of pathogenesis and test neuroprotective strategies.
Chapter
There are no clinically relevant, evidence-based preventive strategies for chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN). In this chapter we discuss how limitations in current animal models lead to insufficient understanding of CIPN pathophysiology and how drug development for neurodegenerative diseases in general suffers because of this. We draw on previous studies of CIPN prevention to reflect upon what can be learned, but this chapter is not a historical account of past CIPN strategies nor it is an exhaustive list of CIPN mechanisms in rodents and mice. There are several succinctly well-written and recent reviews that cover these topics.
Article
Vincristine and bortezomib are effective chemotherapeutics widely used to treat hematological cancers. Vincristine blocks tubulin polymerization, whereas bortezomib is a proteasome inhibitor. Despite different mechanisms of action, the main non-hematological side effect of both is peripheral neuropathy that can last long after treatment has ended and cause permanent disability. Many different cellular and animal models of various aspects of vincristine and bortezomib-induced neuropathies have been generated to investigate underlying molecular mechanisms and serve as platforms to develop new therapeutics. These models revealed that bortezomib induces several transcriptional programs in dorsal root ganglia that result in the activation of different neuroinflammatory pathways and secondary central sensitization. In contrast, vincristine has direct toxic effects on the axon, which are accompanied by changes similar to those observed after nerve cut. Axon degeneration following both vincristine and bortezomib is mediated by a phylogenetically ancient, genetically encoded axon destruction program that leads to the activation of the Toll-like receptor adaptor SARM1 (sterile alpha and TIR motif containing protein 1) and local decrease of nicotinamide dinucleotide (NAD⁺). Here, I describe current in vitro and in vivo models of vincristine- and bortezomib induced neuropathies, present discoveries resulting from these models in the context of clinical findings and discuss how increased understanding of molecular mechanisms underlying different aspects of neuropathies can be translated to effective treatments to prevent, attenuate or reverse vincristine- and bortezomib-induced neuropathies. Such treatments could improve the quality of life of patients both during and after cancer therapy and, accordingly, have enormous societal impact.
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Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neurotoxicity represents one of the most relevant dose-limiting side effects that can affect cancer patients treated with the common antineoplastic agents. Since the severity of neurotoxicity often leads to dose reduction or early cessation of chemotherapy, the investigation of molecular mechanisms underlying chemotherapy-induced peripheral neurotoxicity is an urgent clinical need in order to better understand its physiopathology and find effective strategies for neuroprotection. Several in vivo preclinical models of chemotherapy-induced peripheral neurotoxicity have been developed but a great variability in mouse strain, dose, route of administration of the drug, treatment schedule and assessment of neurotoxicity is observed between the different published studies making difficult the comparison and interpretation of their results. In many of these studies only behavioural tests are used as outcome measures, while possible neurophysiological and neuropathological changes are not evaluated. In this study, focused on experimental oxaliplatin-induced peripheral neurotoxicity, we reproduced and compared four mouse models with very different drug dose (low or high dose-intensity) and treatment schedules (short or long-term treatment), selected from the literature. Using a multimodal assessment based on behavioural, neurophysiological and neuropathological methods, we evidenced remarkable differences in the results obtained in the selected animal models. This work suggests the importance of a multimodal approach including extensive pathological investigation to confirm the behavioural results.
Article
Oxaliplatin chemotherapy produces acute changes in peripheral nerve excitability in humans by modulating voltage-gated Na ⁺ channel activity. However, there are few animal studies of oxaliplatin-induced neuropathy that demonstrate similar changes in excitability. In the present study, we measured the excitability of motor and sensory caudal nerve in C57BL/6 mice after oxaliplatin injections either systemically (intraperitoneal) or locally (intramuscular at the base of the tail). As opposed to intraperitoneal administration of oxaliplatin, a single intramuscular injection of oxaliplatin produced changes in both motor and sensory axons. In motor axons, oxaliplatin caused a greater change in response to long-lasting depolarisation and an upward shift in the recovery cycle, particularly at 24 hrs (TEd 10-20ms, p = 0.0095; TEd 90-100ms, p = 0.0056) and 48 hrs (TEd 10-20ms, p = 0.02; TEd 90-100ms, p = 0.04) post-treatment. Oxaliplatin treatment also stimulated the production of afterdischarges in motor axons. These changes were transient and showed dose dependence. Mathematical modelling demonstrated that these changes could be accounted for by slowing inactivation of voltage gated Na ⁺ channels by 73.3% and reducing fast K ⁺ conductance by 47% in motor axons. In sensory axons, oxaliplatin caused an increase in threshold, a reduction in peak amplitude and greater threshold changes to strong hyperpolarising currents on days 4 and 8. Thus, local administration of oxaliplatin produced clinically relevant changes in nerve excitability in mice and may provide an alternative approach for the study of acute oxaliplatin-induced neurotoxicity.
Article
Nicotinamide riboside (NR) is a vitamin B3 precursor of NAD that blunts diabetic and chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy in preclinical models. This study examined whether NR also blunts the loss of intraepidermal nerve fibers (IENF) induced by paclitaxel, which is associated with peripheral neuropathy. The work was conducted in female rats with N-methyl-nitrosourea (MNU)-induced tumors of the mammary gland to increase its translational relevance, and to assess the interaction of NR with paclitaxel and NR's effect on tumor growth. Once daily oral administration of 200 mg/kg NR p.o. beginning with the first of three i.v. injections of 6.6 mg/kg paclitaxel to tumor-bearing rats significantly decreased paclitaxel-induced hypersensitivity to tactile and cool stimuli, as well as place-escape avoidance behaviors. It also blunted the loss of IENF in tumor-bearing rats, as well as a separate cohort of tumor-naïve rats. Unexpectedly, concomitant administration of NR during paclitaxel treatment further decreased tumor growth; thereafter, tumor growth resumed at the same rate as vehicle-treated controls. Administration of NR also decreased the percentage of Ki67-positive tumor cells in these rats. Once daily administration of NR did not appear to alter tumor growth or the percentage of Ki67-positive tumor cells in rats that were not treated with paclitaxel and followed for three months. These results further support the ability of NR to play a protective role following nerve injury. They also suggest that NR may not only alleviate peripheral neuropathy in patients receiving taxane chemotherapy, but also offer an added benefit by possibly enhancing its tumor-suppressing effects.
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The present study has been investigated the role of gallic acid (GA) in paclitaxel-induced neuropathic pain. The neuropathic pain was developed with paclitaxel (PT: 2 mg/kg, i.p.) administration in mice. GA (20 and 40 mg/kg) and pregabalin (PreG: 5 mg/kg) were administered intravenously for 10 consecutive days. The neuralgic sensations were investigated by assessing various pain tests like acetone drop, pinprick, plantar, tail flick, and tail pinch test. Mice pain behaviors were evaluated on 0, 4th, 8th, 12th and 16th days. The levels of sciatic nerve thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS), reduced glutathione (GSH), superoxide anion, calcium, myeloperoxidase (MPO), and TNF-α were estimated. Treatment of GA and PreG attenuate PT induced thermal &mechanical hyperalgesia and allodynia symptoms along with the reduction of TBARS, total calcium, TNF-α, superoxide anion, and MPO activity levels; and decreased GSH level. Therefore, it has been concluded that GA has potential neuroprotective actions against PT induced neuropathic pain due to it's anti-oxidant, anti-inflammation and regulation of intracellular calcium ion concentration.
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We report a systematic review and meta-analysis of research using animal models of chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN). We systematically searched 5 online databases in September 2012 and updated the search in November 2015 using machine learning and text mining to reduce the screening for inclusion workload and improve accuracy. For each comparison, we calculated a standardised mean difference (SMD) effect size, and then combined effects in a random-effects meta-analysis. We assessed the impact of study design factors and reporting of measures to reduce risks of bias. We present power analyses for the most frequently reported behavioural tests; 337 publications were included. Most studies (84%) used male animals only. The most frequently reported outcome measure was evoked limb withdrawal in response to mechanical monofilaments. There was modest reporting of measures to reduce risks of bias. The number of animals required to obtain 80% power with a significance level of 0.05 varied substantially across behavioural tests. In this comprehensive summary of the use of animal models of CIPN, we have identified areas in which the value of preclinical CIPN studies might be increased. Using both sexes of animals in the modelling of CIPN, ensuring that outcome measures align with those most relevant in the clinic, and the animal’s pain contextualised ethology will likely improve external validity. Measures to reduce risk of bias should be employed to increase the internal validity of studies. Different outcome measures have different statistical power, and this can refine our approaches in the modelling of CIPN.
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Sensitivity to different pain modalities has a genetic basis that remains largely unknown. Employing closely related inbred mouse substrains can facilitate gene mapping of nociceptive behaviors in preclinical pain models. We previously reported enhanced sensitivity to acute thermal nociception in C57BL/6J (B6J) versus C57BL/6N (B6N) substrains. Here, we expanded on nociceptive phenotypes and observed an increase in formalin-induced inflammatory nociceptive behaviors and paw diameter in B6J versus B6N mice (Charles River Laboratories). No strain differences were observed in mechanical or thermal hypersensitivity or in edema following the Complete Freund’s Adjuvant (CFA) model of inflammatory pain, indicating specificity in the inflammatory nociceptive stimulus. In the chronic nerve constriction injury (CCI), a model of neuropathic pain, no strain differences were observed in baseline mechanical threshold or in mechanical hypersensitivity up to one month post-CCI. We replicated the enhanced thermal nociception in the 52.5°C hot plate test in B6J versus B6N mice from The Jackson Laboratory. Using a B6J x B6N-F2 cross (N=164), we mapped a major quantitative trait locus (QTL) underlying hot plate sensitivity to chromosome 7 that peaked at 26 Mb (LOD=3.81, p<0.01; 8.74 Mb-36.50 Mb) that was more pronounced in males. Genes containing expression QTLs (eQTLs) associated with the peak nociceptive marker that are implicated in pain and inflammation include Ryr1, Cyp2a5, Pou2f2, Clip3, Sirt2, Actn4, and Ltbp4 (FDR < 0.05). Future studies involving positional cloning and gene editing will determine the quantitative trait gene(s) and potential pleiotropy of this locus across pain modalities.
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The Streptozotocin- (STZ-) induced diabetic model is widely used; however, unexplained acute toxicity has given the model an unreliable reputation. To improve the reliability and utility of this model, we characterize the age dependence of STZ toxicity and introduce novel endpoints to assess diabetic complications and reveal possible mechanisms for diabetic development. Diabetes was induced by STZ injection into male, 6 to 23 weeks old, Sprague-Dawley rats. Their metabolic (glucose, lipids, and hormones), inflammatory (cytokines), histologic and behavioral endpoints were observed for 1.2 years. Analgesic compounds were assessed for efficacy treating neuropathy. Acute mortality, within a week of STZ injection (50–65 mg/kg i.v.), was inversely correlated to animal age. Only 3% of rats, age 6–11 weeks, died in the week following STZ injection, whereas 83% of rats 12 to 17 weeks old and 91% of rats 18 weeks or older died in the same week. Partial model recovery (normalized insulin, glucose and food/water intake) was observed starting at week 36; however, pain scores, kidney enlargement, and cataract formation continued to show progression consistent with the diabetic state. Unique noninvasive observational measurements, such as haircoat quality and diarrhea scores, served as useful endpoints for this model. The increased plasma cytokines (such as TNF- α , IL-4, and IL-6) and inflammatory cell infiltration into the pancreatic islets are strong evidence of inflammation in the STZ-induced diabetic model. Pancreatic tissue staining revealed total islet area reduction and confirmed STZ-specific pancreatic toxicity; however, the β -cell density per area in pancreatic islets and insulin levels statistically increased over time in the diabetic rats, suggesting a mechanism for partial recovery of diabetic symptoms. Voltage-gated sodium channel (NaV1.7 specific, peripherally restricted) blocker, CC4148, inhibited neuropathy without side effects as compared to a nonspecific sodium channel inhibitor, Mexiletine, or GABA analog, Pregabalin, which inhibited neuropathy with side effects.
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Sprague Dawley ( SD ) rats are one of the most commonly used outbred rat strains. Despite this, the genetic characteristics of SD are poorly understood. We collected behavioral data from 4,625 SD rats acquired predominantly from two commercial vendors, Charles River Laboratories and Harlan Sprague Dawley Inc. Using double-digest genotyping-by-sequencing ( ddGBS ), we obtained dense, high-quality genotypes at 234,887 SNPs across 4,061 rats. This genetic data allowed us to characterize the variation present in Charles River vs. Harlan SD rats. We found that the two populations are highly diverged (F ST > 0.4). We also used these data to perform a genome-wide association study ( GWAS ) of Pavlovian conditioned approach ( PavCA ), which assesses the propensity for rats to attribute motivational value to discrete, reward-associated cues. Due to the genetic divergence between rats from Charles River and Harlan, we performed two separate GWAS by fitting a linear mixed model that accounted for within vendor population structure and using meta-analysis to jointly analyze the two studies. We identified 18 independent loci that were significantly associated with one or more metrics used to describe PavCA; we also identified 3 loci that were body weight, which was only measured in a subset of the rats. The genetic characterization of SD rats is a valuable resource for the rat community that can be used to inform future study design. Author Summary Outbred Sprague Dawley rats are among the most commonly used rats for neuroscience, physiology and pharmacological research. SD rats are sold by several commercial vendors, including Charles River Laboratories and Harlan Sprague Dawley Inc. (now Envigo). Despite their wide spread use, little is known about the genetic diversity of SD. We genotyped more than 4,000 SD rats, which we used to characterize genetic differences between SD rats from Charles River Laboratories and Harlan. Our analysis revealed that the two SD colonies are highly divergent. We also performed a genome-wide association study ( GWAS ) for Pavlovian conditioned approach ( PavCA ), which assesses the propensity for rats to attribute motivational value to discrete, reward-associated cues. Our results demonstrate that, despite sharing an identical name, SD rats are obtained from different vendors are genetically very different. We conclude that results obtained using SD rats should not be presented without also carefully noting the vendor.
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The reversibility of chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN), a disabling and potentially permanent side effect of microtubule-targeting agents (MTAs), is becoming an increasingly important issue as treatment outcomes improve. The molecular mechanisms regulating the variability in time to onset, severity, and time to recovery from CIPN between the common MTAs paclitaxel and eribulin are unknown. Previously (Benbow et al. in Neurotox Res 29:299–313, 2016), we found that after 2 weeks of a maximum tolerated dose (MTD) in mice, paclitaxel treatment resulted in severe reductions in axon area density, higher frequency of myelin abnormalities, and increased numbers of Schwann cell nuclei in sciatic nerves. Biochemically, eribulin induced greater microtubule-stabilizing effects than paclitaxel. Here, we extended these comparative MTD studies to assess the recovery from these short-term effects of paclitaxel, eribulin, and a third MTA, ixabepilone, over the course of 6 months. Paclitaxel induced a persistent reduction in axon area density over the entire 6-month recovery period, unlike ixabepilone- or eribulin-treated animals. The abundance of myelin abnormalities rapidly declined after cessation of all drugs but recovered most slowly after paclitaxel treatment. Paclitaxel- and ixabepilone- but not eribulin-treated animals exhibited increased Schwann cell numbers during the recovery period. Tubulin composition and biochemistry rapidly returned from MTD-induced levels of α-tubulin, acetylated α-tubulin, and end-binding protein 1 to control levels following cessation of drug treatment. Taken together, sciatic nerve axons recovered more rapidly from morphological effects in eribulin- and ixabepilone-treated animals than in paclitaxel-treated animals and drug-induced increases in protein expression levels following paclitaxel and eribulin treatment were relatively transient.
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Peripheral nerves extend throughout the body, innervating target tissues with motor or sensory axons. Due to widespread distribution, peripheral nerves are frequently damaged because of trauma or disease. As methods and strategies have been developed to assess peripheral nerve injury in animal models, function and regeneration, analyzing the morphometry of the peripheral nerve has become an essential terminal outcome measurement. Toluidine blue staining of nerve cross sections obtained from resin embedded nerve sections is a reproducible method for qualitative and quantitative assessments of peripheral nerves, enabling visualization of morphology number of axons and degree of myelination. This technique, as with many other histological methods, can be difficult to learn and master using standard written protocols. The intent of this publication is therefore to accentuate written protocols for toluidine blue staining of peripheral nerves with videography of the method, using sciatic nerves harvested from rats. In this protocol, we describe in vivo peripheral nerve fixation and collection of the tissue, and post-fixation with 2% osmium tetroxide, embedding of nerves in epoxy resin, and ultramicrotome sectioning of nerves to 1-2μm thickness. Nerve sections then transferred to a glass slide and stained with toluidine blue, after which they are quantitatively and qualitatively assessed. Examples of the most common problems are shown, as well as steps for mitigating these issues. © 2018, Journal of Visualized Experiments. All rights reserved.
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Background Peripheral neuropathy is a common complication in type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). The most common presentation is in the form of a distal axonal sensory‐motor polyneuropathy that involves large and small nerve fibers in variable proportion. Methods Zucker Diabetic Fatty rats (ZDF), Zucker Lean (ZL) and Wistar Han (WH) rats were used to asses the behavioral, morphological and electrophysiological effects that T2DM have on peripheral large and small nerve fibers of 6‐40 week‐old rats. Results ZDF rats presented mechanical hypersensitivity that initially worsened in parallel to the progression of diabetes and eventually reverted at later stages of the disease. The reversal from hypersensitivity to hyposensitivity paralleled a reduction in the number of intraepithelial skin nerve terminals and in the nerve fiber lengths. However, no increased levels of degeneration of dorsal root ganglion neurons were observed. Nerve conduction studies showed a reduction in sensory and motor nerve conduction velocity (CV) in hyperglycemic ZDF rats. Microneurography showed significant alterations in several parameters of activity‐dependent slowing (ADS) of mechano‐insensitive C‐nociceptors in ZDF rats. Surprisingly, some of these changes were also observed in ZL rats. Moreover, we found spontaneous activity in all three strains implying that C‐nociceptors become hyperexcitable and spontaneously active in ageing hyperglycemic ZDF rats, but also in age‐matched and apparently normoglycemic ZL and WH rats fed with the same diet. Conclusions ZDF rats presented a diabetic neuropathy involving large and small nerve fibers, but additionally, ZL and WH rats showed early small abnormalities in C‐fibers clearly detected by microneurography. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
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Objective: To perform a cross-sectional study to determine whether plasma neurofilament light chain (NfL) concentration is elevated in patients with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT) and if it correlates with disease severity. Methods: Blood samples were collected from 75 patients with CMT and 67 age-matched healthy controls over a 1-year period. Disease severity was measured using the Rasch modified CMT Examination and neuropathy scores. Plasma NfL concentration was measured using an in-house-developed Simoa assay. Results: Plasma NfL concentration was significantly higher in patients with CMT (median 26.0 pg/mL) compared to healthy controls (median 14.6 pg/mL, p < 0.0001) and correlated with disease severity as measured using the Rasch modified CMT examination (r = 0.43, p < 0.0001) and neuropathy (r = 0.37, p = 0.044) scores. Concentrations were also significantly higher when subdividing patients by genetic subtype (CMT1A, SPTLC1, and GJB1) or into demyelinating or axonal forms compared to healthy controls. Conclusion: There are currently no validated blood biomarkers for peripheral neuropathy. The significantly raised plasma NfL concentration in patients with CMT and its correlation with disease severity suggest that plasma NfL holds promise as a biomarker of disease activity, not only for inherited neuropathies but for peripheral neuropathy in general.
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Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) is a major cause of disability in cancer survivors. CIPN investigations in preclinical model systems have focused on either behaviors or acute changes in nerve conduction velocity (NCV) and amplitude, but greater understanding of the underlying nature of axonal injury and its long-term processes is needed as cancer patients live longer. In this study, we used multiple independent endpoints to systematically characterize CIPN recovery in mice exposed to the anti-tubulin cancer drugs eribulin (ERIB), ixabepilone (IXA), paclitaxel (PACLI) or vinorelbine (VINO) at maximal tolerated doses. All of the drugs ablated intra-epidermal nerve fibers and produced axonopathy, with a secondary disruption in myelin structure within two weeks of drug administration. Additionally, all of the drugs reduced sensory NCV and amplitude, with greater deficits after PACLI and lesser deficits after IXA. These effects correlated with degeneration in dorsal root ganglia (DRG) and sciatic nerve and abundance of Schwann cells. While most injuries were fully reversible after 3-6 months after administration of ERIB, VINO, and IXA, we observed delayed recovery after PACLI that produced a more severe, pervasive and prolonged neurotoxicity. Compared to other agents, PACLI also displayed a unique prolonged exposure in sciatic nerve and DRG. The most sensitive indicator of toxicity was axonopathy and secondary myelin changes accompanied by a reduction in intra-epidermal nerve fiber density. Taken together, our findings suggest that intra-epidermal nerve fiber density and changes in NCV and amplitude might provide measures of axonal injury to guide clinical practice.
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Objective: Neurotoxicity is the most frequent dose-limiting side effect of the anti-cancer agent oxaliplatin, but the mechanisms are not well understood. This study used nerve excitability testing to investigate the pathophysiology of the acute neurotoxicity. Methods: Questionnaires, quantitative sensory tests, nerve conduction studies and nerve excitability testing were undertaken in 12 patients with high-risk colorectal cancer treated with adjuvant oxaliplatin and in 16 sex- and age-matched healthy controls. Examinations were performed twice for patients: once within 3 days after oxaliplatin treatment (post-infusion examination) and once shortly before the following treatment (recovery examination). Results: The most frequent post-infusion symptoms were tingling paresthesias and cold allodynia. The most prominent nerve excitability change was decreased superexcitability of motor axons which correlated with the average intensity of abnormal sensations (Spearman Rho = 0.80, p < .01). The motor nerve excitability changes were well modeled by a slowing of sodium channel inactivation, and were proportional to dose/m2 with a half-life of about 10d. Conclusions: Oxaliplatin induces reversible slowing of sodium channel inactivation in motor axons, and these changes are closely related to the reversible cold allodynia. However, further studies are required due to small sample size in this study. Significance: Nerve excitability data provide an index of sodium channel dysfunction: an objective biomarker of acute oxaliplatin neurotoxicity.
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Peripheral neurotoxicity is one of the most distressing side effects of oxaliplatin therapy for cancer. Indeed, most patients that received oxaliplatin experience acute and/or chronic severe sensory peripheral neuropathy. However, despite similar co-morbidities, cancer stage, demographics and treatment schedule, patients develop oxaliplatin-induced peripheral neurotoxicity with remarkably different severity. This suggests individual genetic variability, which might be used to glean the mechanistic insights into oxaliplatin neurotoxicity. We characterized the susceptibility of different mice strains to oxaliplatin neurotoxicity investigating the phenotypic features of neuropathy and gene expression profiles in dorsal root ganglia of six genetically different mice strains (Balb-c, C57BL6, DBA/2J, AJ, FVB and CD1) exposed to the same oxaliplatin schedule. Differential gene expression in dorsal root ganglia from each mice strain were assayed using a genome-wide expression analysis and selected genes were validated by RT-PCR analysis. The demonstration of consistent differences in the phenotypic response to oxaliplatin across different strains is interesting to allow the selection of the appropriate strain based on the pre-defined read-out parameters. Further investigation of the correlation between gene expression changes and oxaliplatin-induced neurotoxicity phenotype in each strain will be useful to deeper investigate the molecular mechanisms of oxaliplatin neurotoxicity.
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The increasing availability of sophisticated methods to characterize human genetic variation has enabled pharmacogenetic data to be used not only to predict responses to treatment (in the context of so-called personalized medicine), but also to identify patients at high or low risk of specific treatment-related adverse effects. Over the past two decades, extensive attempts have been made to understand the genetic basis of chemotherapy-induced peripheral neurotoxicity (CIPN), one of the most severe non-haematological adverse effects of cancer treatment. Despite substantial efforts, however, the identification of a genetic profile that can detect patients at high risk of CIPN still represents an unmet need, as the information obtained from pharmacogenetic studies published so far is inconsistent at best. Among the reasons for these inconsistencies, methodological flaws and the poor reliability of existing tools for assessing CIPN features and severity are particularly relevant. This Review provides a critical update of the pharmacogenetics of CIPN, focusing on the studies published since 2011. Strategies for improving the reliability of future pharmacogenetic studies of CIPN are also discussed.
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Sensory and autonomic neuropathy affects the majority of type II diabetic patients. Clinically, autonomic evaluation often focuses on sudomotor function yet this is rarely assessed in animal models. We undertook morphological and functional studies to assess large myelinated and small unmyelinated axons in the db/db type II diabetes mouse model. We observed that autonomic innervation of sweat glands in the footpads was significantly reduced in db/db mice compared to control db/+ mice and this deficit was greater compared to reductions in intraepidermal sensory innervation of adjacent epidermis. Additionally, db/db mice formed significantly fewer sweat droplets compared to controls as early as 6 weeks of age, a time when no statistical differences were observed electrophysiologically between db/db and db/+ mice studies of large myelinated sensory and motor nerves. The rate of sweat droplet formation was significantly slower and the sweat droplet size larger and more variable in db/db mice compared to controls. Whereas pilocarpine and glycopyrrolate increased and decreased sweating, respectively, in 6 month-old controls, db/db mice did not respond to pharmacologic manipulations. Our findings indicate autonomic neuropathy is an early and prominent deficit in the db/db model and have implications for the development of therapies for peripheral diabetic neuropathy.
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Experiments that use the mouse as a model for disease have recently come under scrutiny because of the repeated failure of data, particularly derived from preclinical studies, to be replicated or translated to humans. The usefulness of mouse models has been questioned because of irreproducibility and poor recapitulation of human conditions. Newer studies, however, point to bias in reporting results and improper data analysis as key factors that limit reproducibility and validity of preclinical mouse research. Inaccurate and incomplete descriptions of experimental conditions also contribute. Here, we provide guidance on best practice in mouse experimentation, focusing on appropriate selection and validation of the model, sources of variation and their influence on phenotypic outcomes, minimum requirements for control sets, and the importance of rigorous statistics. Our goal is to raise the standards in mouse disease modeling to enhance reproducibility, reliability and clinical translation of findings.
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Peripheral neuropathies induced by chemotherapy (CIPN) are an increasingly frequent problem. Contrary to hema­tologic adverse effects, which can be treated with hematopoetic growth factors, neither prophylaxis nor spe­cific treatment is available, and only symptomatic treatment can be offered. Neurotoxic drugs are becoming a major dose-limiting factor. The epidemiology is still unclear. Several drug-dependent pathogenetic mechanisms exist. CIPN are predominately sensory, length-dependent neuropathies that develop after a typical cumulative dose. Usually, the appearance of CIPN is dose dependent, although in at least 2 drugs (oxaliplatin and taxanes), immediate toxic effects occur. The most frequent substances causing CIPN are platin compounds, vinka alkaloids, taxanes, and bortezomib and thalidomide. The role of synergistic neurotoxicity caused by previously given chemo­therapies and concomitant chemotherapies and the role pre-existent neuropathy on the development of a CIPN is not clear. As the number of long-term cancer survivors increases and a new focus on long-term effects of chemotherapy-induced neuropathies emerge, concepts of rehabili­tation need to be implemented to improve the patients’ functions and quality of life.
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Chemotherapy-induced neuropathic pain is one of the major problems for cancer patients. Although paclitaxel and cisplatin are widely used in women, most laboratory studies of chemotherapy-induced neuropathic pain have been conducted on male animals. The current study examined the gender differences in chemotherapy-induced neuropathic pain in mice. Neuropathic pain was induced by intraperitoneal injection of paclitaxel (2 mg/kg) for five consecutive days and cisplatin (1 mg/kg) for seven consecutive days. Cold allodynia was evaluated by measuring the paw withdrawal frequency and duration of paw licking in mice; however, mechanical allodynia was assessed by von Frey filaments. Neuropathic pain began to manifest after a few days (P < 0.001). Cold allodynia was more robust in female mice (P < 0.001) treated with paclitaxel, while no differences were observed between the two genders in the manifestation of paclitaxel-induced mechanical allodynia. Interestingly, no gender differences were observed in cisplatin-induced cold and mechanical allodynia tests. In conclusion, gender differences play a major role in neuropathic pain induced by paclitaxel. The differences between male and female animals should be considered in future studies and the findings should be generalized to humans with caution. © The Author(s) 2015 Reprints and permissions: sagepub.co.uk/journalsPermissions.nav.
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Pain is fundamentally unpleasant, a feature that protects the organism by promoting motivation and learning. Relief of aversive states, including pain, is rewarding. The aversiveness of pain, as well as the reward from relief of pain, is encoded by brain reward/motivational mesocorticolimbic circuitry. In this Review, we describe current knowledge of the impact of acute and chronic pain on reward/motivation circuits gained from preclinical models and from human neuroimaging. We highlight emerging clinical evidence suggesting that anatomical and functional changes in these circuits contribute to the transition from acute to chronic pain. We propose that assessing activity in these conserved circuits can offer new outcome measures for preclinical evaluation of analgesic efficacy to improve translation and speed drug discovery. We further suggest that targeting reward/motivation circuits may provide a path for normalizing the consequences of chronic pain to the brain, surpassing symptomatic management to promote recovery from chronic pain.
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Polyneuropathy is a frequent and potentially severe side effect of clinical tumor chemotherapy. The goal of this study was to characterize paclitaxel-, cisplatin-, vincristine- and bortezomib-induced neuropathy in C57BL/6 mice with a comparative approach. The phenotype of the animals was evaluated at four time points with behavioral and electrophysiological tests, followed by histology. Treatment protocols used in this study were well tolerated and induced a sensory and predominantly axonal polyneuropathy. Behavioral testing revealed normal motor coordination, whereas all mice receiving verum treatment developed mechanical allodynia and distinct gait alterations. Electrophysiological evaluation showed a significant decrease of the caudal sensory nerve action potential amplitude for all cytostatic agents and a moderate reduction of nerve conduction velocity for cisplatin and paclitaxel. This finding was confirmed by histological analysis of the sciatic nerve which showed predominantly axonal damage: Paclitaxel and vincristine affected mostly large myelinated fibers, bortezomib small myelinated fibers and cisplatin damaged all types of myelinated fibers to a similar degree. Neuropathic symptoms developed faster in paclitaxel and vincristine treated animals compared to cisplatin and bortezomib treatment. The animal models in this study can be used to elucidate pathomechanisms underlying chemotherapy-induced polyneuropathy and for the development of novel therapeutic and preventative strategies.
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Peripheral neuropathy and neuropathic pain are debilitating, life-altering conditions that affect a significant proportion of the human population. Animal models, used to study basic disease mechanisms and treatment modalities, are diverse and provide many challenges for institutional animal care and use committee (IACUC) review and postapproval monitoring. Items to consider include regulatory and ethical imperatives in animal models that may be designed to study pain, the basic mechanism of neurodegeneration, and different disease processes for which neuropathic pain is a side effect. Neuropathic pain can be difficult to detect or quantify in many models, and pain management is often unsuccessful in both humans and animals, inspiring the need for more research. Design of humane endpoints requires clear communication of potential adverse outcomes and solutions. Communication with the IACUC, researchers, and veterinary staff is also key for successful postapproval monitoring of these challenging models.
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Globalization of the biomedical research enterprise is occurring at an accelerating pace. Increasingly, scientific collaborations and contracts cross national borders. Assurance that the caliber of animal research and animal welfare are consistent among countries and that such animal use is done in a humane and conscientious manner is of significant concern to the scientific community, the general public, and other stakeholders. Bridging these international collaborations is a clear scientific imperative for statistical validity of the data and reproducibility of results to ensure the animal use is both meaningful and impactful. One way to mitigate the potential confounding effects that the welfare of the animals may have on the research data is to harmonize animal care and use practices and procedures worldwide. By harmonizing the care and use of animals, using high standards that are internationally accepted, research animal welfare and high-quality science will be achieved.
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Oxaliplatin (OHP) Induced Peripheral Neurotoxicity (OIPN) is one of the dose-limiting toxicities of the drug and these adverse effects limit cancer therapy with L-OHP, used for colorectal cancer treatment. Acute neurotoxicity consists of symptoms that are the hallmarks of a transient axonal hyperexcitability; chronic neurotoxicity has a clinical picture compatible with a length-dependent sensory neuropathy. Acute OIPN pathogenesis has been linked to sodium voltage-operated channels (Na + VOC) dysfunction and it has been advocated as a possible predisposing factor to chronic neurotoxicity. We tested if topiramate (TPM), a well-known Na + VOC modulator, was able to modify acute as well as chronic OIPN. The project was divided into two parts. In Experiment 1 we tested by means of Nerve Excitability Testing (NET) a cohort of female Wistar rats to assess TPM effects after a single OHP administration (5 mg/kg, iv). In Experiment 2 we assessed TPM effects after chronic OHP treatment (5 mg/kg, 2qw4ws, iv) using NET, nerve conduction studies (NCS), behavioral tests and neuropathology (caudal nerve morphometry and morphology and Intraepidermal Nerve Fiber [IENF] density). In Experiment 1 TPM was able to prevent OHP effects on Na + VOC: OHP treatment induced a highly significant reduction of the sensory nerve's threshold, during the superexcitability period (p-value = 0.008), whereas TPM co-administration prevented this effect. In Experiment 2 we verified that TPM was able to prevent not only acute phenomena, but also to completely prevent chronic OIPN. This latter observation was supported by a multimodal approach: in fact, only OHP group showed altered findings compared to CTRL group at a neurophysiological (proximal caudal nerve sensory nerve action potential [SNAP] amplitude, p-value = 0.001; distal caudal nerve SNAP amplitude, p-value<0.001, distal caudal nerve sensory conduction velocity, p-value = 0.04), behavioral (mechanical threshold, p-value 0.003) and neuropathological levels (caudal nerve fibers density, p-value 0.001; IENF density, p-value <0.001). Our data show that TPM is a promising drug to prevent both acute and chronic OIPN. These findings have a high translational potential, since they were obtained using outcome measures that match clinical practice and TPM is already approved for clinical use being free from detrimental interaction with OHP anticancer properties.
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Chemotherapeutic agents can cause peripheral neuropathy, a deleterious side effect of cancer treatment. Hyperbaric oxygen (HBO2) treatment has shown great potential for decreasing pain in numerous clinical pain conditions and in preclinical studies. This study was designed to test whether HBO2 might also be useful for treating chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy. Male and female Sprague-Dawley rats were injected with 1 mg/kg paclitaxel or vehicle every other day for 7 days to induce allodynia, followed by either one single, or four daily 60-min exposures to HBO2 or room air. Mechanical and cold allodynia as well as locomotor behavior and body weight were assessed intermittently for several weeks. Estrous cycling was also tracked in female rats. Paclitaxel caused pronounced mechanical allodynia in both sexes that was completely reversed by either one or four treatments of HBO2. Females in all treatment groups showed greater cold acetone scores than males, and acetone scores were not reliably reduced by HBO2 treatment. Neither paclitaxel nor HBO2 treatment altered locomotor behavior or estrous cycling. We conclude that HBO2 treatment was highly effective at reducing mechanical allodynia in paclitaxel-treated rats without affecting weight gain, locomotion, or estrous cycling, suggesting that HBO2 may be effective for treating chemotherapy-induced neuropathic pain without producing significant side effects.
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Various antitumor drugs, including paclitaxel, frequently cause chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) that can be sustained even after therapy has been completed. The current work was designed to evaluate R-47, an α7 nAChR silent agonist, in our mouse model of CIPN. R-47 was administered to male C57BL/6J mice prior to and during paclitaxel treatment. Additionally, we tested if R-47 would alter nicotine's reward and withdrawal effects. The H460 and A549 non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cell lines were exposed to R-47 for 24-72 h, and tumor-bearing NSG mice received R-47 prior to and during paclitaxel treatment. R-47 prevents and reverses paclitaxel-induced mechanical hypersensitivity in mice in an α7 nAChR-dependent manner. No tolerance develops following repeated administration of R-47, and the drug lacks intrinsic rewarding effects. Additionally, R-47 neither changes the rewarding effect of nicotine in the Conditioned Place Preference test nor enhances mecamylamine-precipitated withdrawal. Furthermore, R-47 prevents paclitaxel-mediated loss of intraepidermal nerve fibers and morphological alterations of microglia in the spinal cord. Moreover, R-47 does not increase NSCLC cell viability, colony formation, or proliferation, and does not interfere with paclitaxel-induced growth arrest, DNA fragmentation, or apoptosis. Most importantly, R-47 does not increase the growth of A549 tumors or interfere with the antitumor activity of paclitaxel in tumor-bearing mice. These studies suggest that R-47 could be a viable and efficacious approach for the prevention and treatment of CIPN that would not interfere with the antitumor activity of paclitaxel or promote lung tumor growth.
Article
Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neurotoxicity (CIPN) is a common dose-limiting side effect of several anticancer medications. CIPN may involve multiple areas of the peripheral nervous system from the autonomic and dorsal root ganglia (DRG) to the axon and any peripheral nerve fibre type. Large diameter sensory myelinated (Aβ) fibres are more frequently involved, but motor, small myelinated (Aδ), unmyelinated (C) or autonomic fibres may also be affected. Here, we review the current evidence on techniques for the CIPN assessment in the clinical and experimental settings. Nerve conduction studies (NCS) may be used at the subclinical and early CIPN stage, to assess the extent of large nerve fibre damage and to monitor long-term outcomes, with the sural or dorsal sural nerve as the most informative. The quantitative sensory neurological examination provides valuable data alongside NCS. Quantitative sensory testing and nerve excitability studies add information regarding pathophysiology. Nerve MRI and ultrasound may provide information on enlarged nerve, increased nerve signal intensity and DRG or spinal cord changes. Skin biopsy, corneal confocal microscopy, laser-evoked potentials, contact heat-related potentials and microneurography may reveal the extent of damage to small unmyelinated nerve fibres that go undetected by NCS. The information on the role of these latter techniques is preliminary. Hence, the use of multimodal testing is recommended as the optimal CIPN assessment strategy, employing objective NCS and other specialised techniques together with subjective patient-reported outcome measures.
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In 1989 ILAR published a list and description of immunodeficient rodents used in research. Since then, advances in understanding of molecular mechanisms; recognition of genetic, epigenetic microbial, and other influences on immunity; and capabilities in manipulating genomes and microbiomes have increased options and opportunities for selecting mice and designing studies to answer important mechanistic and therapeutic questions. Despite numerous scientific breakthroughs that have benefitted from research in mice, there is debate about the relevance and predictive or translational value of research in mice. Reproducibility of results obtained from mice and other research models also is a well-publicized concern. This review summarizes resources to inform the selection and use of immune relevant mouse strains and stocks, aiming to improve the utility, validity, and reproducibility of research in mice. Immune sufficient genetic variations, immune relevant spontaneous mutations, immunodeficient and autoimmune phenotypes, and selected induced conditions are emphasized.
Article
Animals play a key role in biomedical research and other areas of scientific inquiry. But public opinion plays a key role in influencing how this area of science is regulated and funded. Nevertheless, scientists have historically been reticent to speak openly about their animal research or to open their animal facilities to the public in any way. Consequently, most of the available information has come from those opposed to animal research. This imbalance has led to suspicion and lagging public support for this work. To reverse this effect, efforts are now being made in many parts of the world to increase openness and transparency in this sector. The authors firmly believe that encouraging more institutions to join this movement, focused on better and greater communication, is essential to preserve the research community’s “permission” to perform justifiable studies involving animals. For the purposes of this article, we consider “the public” to include that cross-section of society who may be asked their views in opinion poll studies and who may vote in elections. It also includes other influential groups such as the media, scientists working in other disciplines, animal welfare groups, and politicians who may shape regulatory frameworks. Public opinion on this issue matters. The majority of funding for biomedical research comes, either directly or indirectly, from the public purse. In the case of pharmaceutical research, funding derives from selling medicines to consumers. We therefore all have a vested interest in this funding. Furthermore, legislation that covers the use of animals in research is permissive—it allows scientists to do things that might otherwise contravene animal welfare laws. But this permission is normally contingent on complying with strict protective measures designed to ensure the work stays within the ethical framework that public opinion has deemed appropriate. Open and transparent communication is the best way to promote public understanding. There is thus a responsibility on all those involved in animal research, whether scientists, animal care staff, physicians, veterinarians, members of ethics committees, or managers and leaders, to support and promote public awareness and trust in this work. Circumstantial evidence shows that, with such open dialogue, there is decreased targeting and harassment of individuals and job pride and satisfaction for all involved is improved.
Article
The objective of this study is to test the feasibility of using serum neurofilament light chain (NfL) as a disease biomarker in Chemotherapy Induced Peripheral Neuropathy (CIPN) since this easy accessible biological test may have a large impact on clinical management and safety of cancer patients. We performed this preclinical study using a well-characterized rat model based on repeated administration of the cytostatic drug vincristine (VCR, 0.2 mg/kg intravenously via the tail vein once/week for 4 times). Serial NfL serum concentration measured using the in-house Simoa NfL assay and peripheral neuropathy onset was measured by sensory and motor nerve conduction studies. Serum NfL measure in untreated and VCR-treated rats demonstrated a steady, and significant increase during the course of VCR administration, with a final 4-fold increase with respect to controls (p < .001) when sign of axonopathy and loss of intraepidermal nerve fibers were clearly evident and verified by behavioral, neurophysiological and pathological examination. This simple monitoring approach based on serum NfL concentration measures may be easily translated to clinical practice and should be considered as a putative marker of CIPN severity in a typical oncology outpatient setting. Further studies are needed to validate it's utility in cancer patients treated with different neurotoxic drugs.
Article
First promulgated in 1959, the 3Rs of Replacement, Reduction and Refinement have evolved as fundamental principles underlying the use of animals and alternatives in science throughout the modern world. This review describes a contemporary approach to delivering the 3Rs through acknowledging the contribution of new technologies and emphasising that applying the 3Rs can be beneficial to good science as well as to animal welfare. This science-led approach moves the concept of the 3Rs out of an ethical silo where they were often considered by scientists to be an inconvenient obligation. On the contrary, relevant examples demonstrate the opportunity to practise better science using 3Rs technologies which deliver faster, more reproducible and more cost-effective results. Indeed, methods harnessing Replacement approaches may permit discoveries which are simply not feasible using animals and frequently are more flexible and agile since compliance with regulatory oversight requirements is simplified. Although the necessity for rigorous oversight is well recognised, it is important that the associated bureaucracy is not allowed to become prohibitive, causing scientists to avoid pursuing justifiable and important research involving animals. Public support for research is conditional – animals should not suffer unnecessarily and sufficient potential benefit should accrue from the research. However, society also actively seeks pioneering medical and scientific advances which can only be achieved through research. Therefore, a balance must be struck between safeguarding animal welfare whilst enabling high-quality science. It is this balance which promotes and sustains public confidence that animal based research is acceptable and being appropriately managed.
Article
Approved and marketed drugs are frequently studied in nonclinical models to evaluate the potential application to additional disease indications or to gain insight about molecular mechanisms of action. A survey of the literature reveals that nonclinical experimental designs (in vitro or in vivo) often include evaluation of drug concentrations or doses that are much higher than what can be achieved in patients (i.e., above the maximally tolerated dose or much higher than the clinically relevant exposures). The results obtained with these high concentrations may be particularly helpful in elucidating off-target effects and toxicities, but it is critical to have a dose-response curve that includes the minimally effective or clinically effective concentration for comparison. We have reviewed the clinical literature and drug product labels for all small molecules and biological agents approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in oncology in order to identify and compile the available pharmacokinetic parameters. The data summarized here can serve as a guide for selection of in vitro concentrations and in vivo plasma exposures for evaluation of drug effects in nonclinical studies. Inclusion of drug concentrations or exposures that are relevant to those observed in clinical practice can improve translation of nonclinical mechanism of action findings into potentially relevant clinical effects.
Article
The antineoplastic oxaliplatin (OXAL) is pivotal for metastatic cancer treatments. However, OXAL evokes sensory and motor side-effects including pain, muscle weakness, motor nerve fiber dysfunctions/neuropathies that significantly impact patients' lives. Therefore, preclinical investigations are struggling to characterize effective analgesics against OXAL-induced painful/sensory symptoms but surprisingly, OXAL-evoked motor dysfunctions received little attention although these neurological symptoms are also disabling for patients. Here, we validated a rat model of OXAL-induced motor neuropathy by using (i) behavioral methods as the wire suspension and balance beam tests to assess muscle weakness and (ii) electrophysiological techniques to record the gastrocnemius electromyography (EMG). The conductance velocity of motor fibers was reduced and compound muscle action potential (CMAP) duration increased in OXAL-treated rats, leading to CMAP dispersion with no modification of the area under the curve, reflecting a heterogeneous demyelination of motor fibers. Functional motor unit analysis revealed a 50 % decrease of their estimated number which was compensated by a motor unit size increase. OXAL-induced motor weakness appeared as a combined consequence of motor fiber demyelination and motor axonopathy. Because we previously observed that allopregnanolone (AP) counteracted OXAL-evoked painful/sensory symptoms, we evaluated its action against OXAL-induced motor neurological dysfunctions. AP treatment successfully corrected motor behaviors, conductance velocity, CMAP duration, motor unit number (MUN) and motor unit size altered by OXAL-chemotherapy. These results, which are the first to show that AP efficiently rescues OXAL-induced motor neuropathy, consolidate the idea that AP-based therapy may be relevant for the treatment of both sensory and motor peripheral neuropathies.
Article
Background: Nerve excitability testing by threshold-tracking is the only available method to study axonal ion channel function and membrane potential in the clinical setting. The measures are, however, indirect and the interpretation of neuropathic changes remains challenging. The same multiple measures of axonal excitability were adapted to further explore the pathophysiological changes in rodent disease models under pharmacologic and genetic manipulations. These studies are typically limited to the investigation of the "long nerves" such as the tail or the tibial nerves. New method: We introduce a novel setup to explore the ulnar nerve excitability in rodents. We provide normative ulnar data in 11 adult female Long Evans rats under anaesthesia by comparison with tibial and caudal nerves. Additionally, these measures were repeated weekly on 3 occasions to determine the repeatability of these tests. Results: Nerve excitability assessment of ulnar nerve proved to be a longitudinally repeatable measure of axonal function mature in rats, as were measures in tibial and caudal nerves. Comparison with existing method: Ulnar nerve motor excitability measures were different from the caudal and tibial excitability measures. Most notably, ulnar nerve showed the largest threshold changes during both depolarizing and hyperpolarizing threshold electrotonus. Conclusions: Ulnar nerves demonstrate a distinct nerve excitability profile than the caudal and tibial nerves which could have functional and pathological implications.
Article
Objective: To investigate serum neurofilament light chain (NfL) concentrations in frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and to see whether they are associated with the severity of disease. Methods: Serum samples were collected from 74 participants (34 with behavioral variant FTD [bvFTD], 3 with FTD and motor neuron disease and 37 with primary progressive aphasia [PPA]) and 28 healthy controls. Twenty-four of the FTD participants carried a pathogenic mutation in C9orf72 (9), microtubule-associated protein tau (MAPT; 11), or progranulin (GRN; 4). Serum NfL concentrations were determined with the NF-Light kit transferred onto the single-molecule array platform and compared between FTD and healthy controls and between the FTD clinical and genetic subtypes. We also assessed the relationship between NfL concentrations and measures of cognition and brain volume. Results: Serum NfL concentrations were higher in patients with FTD overall (mean 77.9 pg/mL [SD 51.3 pg/mL]) than controls (19.6 pg/mL [SD 8.2 pg/mL]; p < 0.001). Concentrations were also significantly higher in bvFTD (57.8 pg/mL [SD 33.1 pg/mL]) and both the semantic and nonfluent variants of PPA (95.9 and 82.5 pg/mL [SD 33.0 and 33.8 pg/mL], respectively) compared with controls and in semantic variant PPA compared with logopenic variant PPA. Concentrations were significantly higher than controls in both the C9orf72 and MAPT subgroups (79.2 and 40.5 pg/mL [SD 48.2 and 20.9 pg/mL], respectively) with a trend to a higher level in the GRN subgroup (138.5 pg/mL [SD 103.3 pg/mL). However, there was variability within all groups. Serum concentrations correlated particularly with frontal lobe atrophy rate (r = 0.53, p = 0.003). Conclusions: Increased serum NfL concentrations are seen in FTD but show wide variability within each clinical and genetic group. Higher concentrations may reflect the intensity of the disease in FTD and are associated with more rapid atrophy of the frontal lobes.
Article
This study is aimed at describing the changes occurring in the entire peripheral nervous system sensory pathway along a 2-year observation period in a cohort of C57BL/6 mice. The neurophysiological studies evidenced significant differences in the selected time points corresponding to childhood, young adulthood, adulthood, and aging (i.e., 1, 7, 15, and 25 months of age), with a parabolic course as function of time. The pathological assessment allowed to demonstrate signs of age-related changes since the age of 7 months, with a remarkable increase in both peripheral nerves and dorsal root ganglia at the subsequent time points. These changes were mainly in the myelin sheaths, as also confirmed by the Rotating-Polarization Coherent-Anti-stokes-Raman-scattering microscopy analysis. Evident changes were also present at the morphometric analysis performed on the peripheral nerves, dorsal root ganglia neurons, and skin biopsies. This extensive, multimodal characterization of the peripheral nervous system changes in aging provides the background for future mechanistic studies allowing the selection of the most appropriate time points and readouts according to the investigation aims.
Article
From measurements of nerve excitability and the changes in excitability produced by nerve impulses and conditioning currents, it is possible to infer information about the membrane potential and biophysical properties of peripheral axons. Such information cannot be obtained from conventional nerve conduction studies. This article describes a new method that enables several such measurements to be made on a motor nerve quickly and reproducibly, with minimal operator intervention. The protocol measures stimulus-response behavior using two stimulus durations (from which the distribution of strength-duration time constants can be estimated), threshold electrotonus to 100-ms polarizing currents, a current-threshold relationship (indicating inward and outward rectification), and the recovery of excitability following supramaximal activation. The method was tested on 30 healthy volunteers, stimulating the median nerve at the wrist and recording from the abductor pollicis brevis. The results were comparable with previously published normal data, but the recordings took less than 10 min. The convenience and brevity of the new method make it appropriate for routine clinical use. (C) 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Muscle Nerve 23: 399-409, 2000.
Article
Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) is a major dose limiting side effect that can lead to long-term morbidity. Approximately one-third of patients receiving chemotherapy with taxanes, vinca alkaloids, platinum compounds or proteasome inhibitors develop this toxic side effect. It is not possible to predict who will get CIPN, however, genetic susceptibility may play a role. We explored this hypothesis using an established in vitro dorsal root ganglia neurite outgrowth (DRG-NOG) assay to assess possible genetic influences for cisplatin- and bortezomib-induced neurotoxicity. Almost all previous in vitro studies have used rats or mice. We compared DRG-NOG between four genetically defined, inbred mouse strains (C57BL/6 J, DBA/2 J, BALB/cJ, and C3H/HeJ) and one rat strain (Sprague Dawley). Our studies found differences in cisplatin and bortezomib-induced neurotoxicity between mouse and rat strains and between the different mouse strains. C57BL/6 J and Balb/cJ DRG-NOG was more sensitive to cisplatin than DBA/2 J and C3H/HeJ DRG-NOG, and all mouse strains were more sensitive to cisplatin than rat. Bortezomib induced a biphasic dose response in DBA/2 J and C3H/H3J mice. C57BL/6 J DRG-NOG was most sensitive and Balb/cJ DRG-NOG was least sensitive to bortezomib. Our animal data supports the hypothesis that genetic background may play a role in CIPN and care must be taken when rodent models are used to better understand the contribution of genetics in patient susceptibility to CIPN.
Article
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.
Article
Painful peripheral neuropathies resulting from cancer chemotherapy treatment is frequently dose-dependent and may diminish following dose reduction or termination of chemotherapy. However, dose reduction or treatment termination could lead to reemergence of the cancer. In addition, chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) may persist long after termination of chemotherapy. Thus, there is a need for treatments to ameliorate pain during the course of an effective cancer treatment regimen. Because the mechanism underlying CIPN has yet to be fully characterized, there is a current lack of effective treatments for CIPN. Preclinical studies in CIPN rodent models have suggested a number of potential neuropathological mechanisms, which could serve as platforms for the development of novel therapeutics. Although a number of potential analgesic therapies have demonstrated robust efficacy in preclinical studies, rigorous clinical testing has yet to fully validate the preclinical findings. The lack of congruence between preclinical and clinical findings could be in part due to the phylogenetic distance between the main model species and humans. Thus, a CIPN model in nonhuman primates could serve to bridge the translational gap between laboratory findings in small animals and clinical utility. The current review points out the short comings of current CIPN rodent models and suggests the use of large animals, such as the nonhuman primate, to narrow the translational gap between preclinical and clinical findings and the discovery of novel therapeutics.
Article
We investigated the agreement between simple indirect immunofluorescence (IF) and bright-field immunohistochemistry (BFI) on free-floating sections for intraepidermal nerve fiber density (IENFD) quantification. Fifty-five healthy subjects and 63 patients with probable small fiber neuropathy (SFN) underwent two adjacent skin biopsies at the distal leg processed by IF and BFI technique. Agreement between IENFD pairs obtained by each method was assessed by Bland-Altman testing. The area under the curve of the receiving operating characteristics (ROC) curves was used to compare the discrimination ability. The diagnostic judgment was based on sex and age-adjusted normative values. IF and BFI showed good correlation (r=0.81), with a ratio of about 2:1 and a mean difference of 5.5±3.0 IENF per millimeter between paired measures, as demonstrated by linear regression and Bland-Altman test analyses. The square root transformation confirmed a Poisson distribution of the data and a fixed bias between IF and BFI measurements. The ROC curves analysis demonstrated a striking overlap between IF and BFI (0.83 and 0.82; p=0.72). The diagnosis of SFN disagreed in only 6.7% of cases when the judgment was based on a difference of >1 IENF from 5% cut-off value. IF and BFI showed comparable diagnostic efficiency when referred to appropriate normative reference values. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Article
Peripheral nerve injuries usually lead to severe loss of motor, sensory and autonomic functions in the patients. Due to the complex requirements for adequate axonal regeneration, functional recovery is often poorly achieved. Experimental models are useful to investigate the mechanisms related to axonal regeneration and tissue reinnervation, and to test new therapeutical strategies to improve functional recovery. Therefore, objective and reliable evaluation methods should be applied for the assessment of regeneration and function restitution after nerve injury in animal models. This review gives an overview of the most useful methods to assess nerve regeneration, target reinnervation and recovery of complex sensory and motor functions, their values and limitations. The selection of methods has to be adequate to the main objective of the research study, either enhancement of axonal regeneration, improving regeneration and reinnervation of target organs by different types of nerve fibers, or increasing recovery of complex sensory and motor functions. It is generally recommended to use more than one functional method for each purpose, and to perform also morphological studies of the injured nerve and the reinnervated targets. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Chapter
Here we describe techniques for the administration of substances to mice. A knowledge of available methods and techniques of administration as well as knowledge of the deposition and fate of the administered substance will help scientists/investigators to select the most appropriate route for their purposes. The administration of test substances, such as chemical elements, compounds, drugs, antibodies, cells, or other agents to mice is one of the major methods for evaluating their biological activity. The route of administration is important and largely dependent on the property of the test substance and the objective of the experiment. All routes have both advantages and disadvantages, such as the absorption, bioavailability and metabolism of the substance. Consideration should be given to the pH, viscosity, concentration, sterility, pyrogenicity, irritancy and toxicity, as well as the existence of hazardous substances.
Article
The present study was designed to investigate the effect of ferulic acid (FA) in vincristine-induced neuropathic pain in rats. Vincristine (50 µg/kg, i.p. for 10 consecutive days) was administered to induce painful neuropathy in rats. Various pain sensitive tests, viz., pinprick, hot plate, paint-brush, and acetone test were performed on different days (1, 6, 14, and 21) to assess the degree of mechanical hyperalgesia, heat hyperalgesia, mechanical dynamic allodynia, and cold allodynia, respectively. The electrophysiological and histopathological evaluations were also investigated. The tissue thiobarbituric acid reactive species (TBARS), reduced glutathione (GSH), myeloperoxidase (MPO), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), interleukin-6 (IL-6), interleukin-10 (IL-10), and total calcium were measured as the markers of inflammation and oxidative stress. FA (50 and 100 mg/kg, i.p.) and gabapentin (10 mg/kg, p.o.) were administered for 11 days. Administration of FA attenuated the vincristine-induced behavioral alteration along with electrophysiological and histopathological changes significantly (P < 0.05). FA also attenuated the vincristine-induced oxidative stress (TBARS, GSH, and total calcium levels) and inflammation (MPO, TNF-alpha, IL-6, and IL-10). It may be concluded that FA has ameliorative potential in mitigation of the painful states associated with vincristine-induced painful neuropathy that may further be attributed to anti-inflammatory actions with subsequent reduction in oxidative stress.
Article
Cisplatin, paclitaxel and bortezomib are effective chemotherapy drugs in cancer treatment. However, they share severe peripheral neurotoxicity (PN) as one of their major dose-limiting side effects, often impairing cancer patients' quality of life and sometimes being permanent. Even if preclinical oncology is largely based on the use of immune-deficient mice, rodent models used to study the chemotherapy-induced PN are available only in immune-competent animals. In this study we characterized for the first time the PN induced by this chemotherapy through neurophysiological, behavioral, morphological and morphometric studies in athymic nude mice, a commonly employed strain in the preclinical oncology. The animals, divided into four groups, were chronically treated with cisplatin, paclitaxel or bortezomib once or twice a week for 4 or 6weeks or were left untreated. These schedules were tolerated, neurotoxic and in the range of antineoplastic effectiveness. Despite similarities, differences in the features of PN were evident if compared with immune-competent models under comparable regimens of treatment. The results of this study may provide a basis for future combined analysis of antineoplastic and neurotoxic effects of chemotherapy in the same animals. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Inc.
Article
NIDDK, JDRF, and the Diabetic Neuropathy Study Group of EASD sponsored a meeting to explore the current status of animal models of diabetic peripheral neuropathy. The goal of the workshop was to develop a set of consensus criteria for the phenotyping of rodent models of diabetic neuropathy. The discussion was divided into five areas: 1) status of commonly used rodent models of diabetes, 2) nerve structure, 3) electrophysiological assessments of nerve function, 4) behavioral assessments of nerve function, and 5) the role of biomarkers in disease phenotyping. Participants discussed the current understanding of each area, gold standards (if applicable) for assessments of function, improvements of existing techniques, and utility of known and exploratory biomarkers. The research opportunities in each area were outlined, providing a possible roadmap for future studies. The meeting concluded with a discussion on the merits and limitations of a unified approach to phenotyping rodent models of diabetic neuropathy and a consensus formed on the definition of the minimum criteria required for establishing the presence of the disease. A neuropathy phenotype in rodents was defined as the presence of statistically different values between diabetic and control animals in 2 of 3 assessments (nocifensive behavior, nerve conduction velocities or nerve structure). The participants propose that this framework would allow different research groups to compare and share data, with an emphasis on data targeted towards the therapeutic efficacy of drug interventions.
Article
Closely related substrains of inbred mice often show phenotypic differences that are presumed to be caused by recent mutations. The substrains BALB/cJ and BALB/cByJ, which were separated in 1935, have been reported to show numerous highly significant behavioral and morphological differences. In an effort to identify some of the causal mutations, we phenotyped BALB/cJ and BALB/cByJ mice as well as their F1, F2, and N2 progeny for behavioral and morphological phenotypes. We also generated whole-genome sequence data for both inbred strains (~3.5× coverage) with the intention of identifying polymorphic markers to be used for linkage analysis. We observed significant differences in body weight, the weight of the heart, liver, spleen and brain, and corpus callosum length between the two substrains. We also observed that BALB/cJ animals showed greater anxiety-like behavior in the open field test, less depression-like behavior in the tail suspension test, and reduced aggression compared to BALB/cByJ mice. Some but not all of these physiological and behavioral results were inconsistent with prior publications. These inconsistencies led us to suspect that the differences were due to, or modified by, non-genetic factors. Thus, we did not perform linkage analysis. We provide a comprehensive summary of the prior literature about phenotypic differences between these substrains as well as our current findings. We conclude that many differences between these strains are unstable and therefore ill-suited to linkage analysis; the source of this instability is unclear. We discuss the broader implications of these observations for the design of future studies.
Article
Pharmacological agents are commonly administered to mice through multiple intraperitoneal (i.p.) injections. The i.p. route of administration is usually considered safe, but questions of animal welfare arise when protocols require that multiple injections be given to the same animal. IACUCs must consider the potential risks associated with multiple i.p. injections in order to determine the maximum number of injections an animal can receive within a study protocol, but there are no published studies of such potential risks. The authors investigated the effects of 30 daily i.p. saline injections on the behavior, body condition, weight, fecal corticosterone levels, hematology and pathology of female adult mice. Results indicate that multiple i.p. injections do not cause any ill effects in mice.
Article
Peripheral neuropathy is a common and dose-limiting side effect of many chemotherapeutic drugs. These include platinum compounds, taxanes, vinca alkaloids, proteasome inhibitors, and others such as thalidomide and suramin. Although many rodent models have been developed using either mice or rats, there is limited consistency in the dose or mode of delivery of the drug; the sex, age, and genetic background of the animal used in the study; and the outcome measures used in evaluation of the peripheral neuropathy. Behavioral assays are commonly used to evaluate evoked sensory responses but are unlikely to be a good representation of the spontaneous sensory paresthesias that the patients experience. Electrophysiologic tests evaluate the integrity of large myelinated populations and are useful in drugs that cause either demyelination or degeneration of large myelinated axons but are insensitive to degeneration of unmyelinated axons in early stages of neuropathy. Histopathologic tools offer an unbiased way to evaluate the degree of axonal degeneration or changes in neuronal cell body but are often time consuming and require processing of the tissue after the study is completed. Nevertheless, use of drug doses and mode of delivery that are relevant to the clinical protocols and use of outcome measures that are both sensitive and objective in evaluation of the length-dependent distal axonal degeneration seen in most chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathies may improve the translational utility of these rodent models.