Nicotine Prevents and Reverses Paclitaxel-Induced Mechanical Allodynia in a Mouse Model of CIPN

Kyte S. L., Toma W., Bagdas D., Meade J. A., Schurman L. D., Lichtman A. H., ...More

JOURNAL OF PHARMACOLOGY AND EXPERIMENTAL THERAPEUTICS, vol.364, no.1, pp.110-119, 2018 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier


Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN), a consequence of peripheral nerve fiber dysfunction or degeneration, continues to be a dose-limiting and debilitating side effect during and/or after cancer chemotherapy. Paclitaxel, a taxane commonly used to treat breast, lung, and ovarian cancers, causes CIPN in 59-78% of cancer patients. Novel interventions are needed due to the current lack of effective CIPN treatments. Our studies were designed to investigate whether nicotine can prevent and/or reverse paclitaxel-induced peripheral neuropathy in a mouse model of CIPN, while ensuring that nicotine will not stimulate lung tumor cell proliferation or interfere with the antitumor properties of paclitaxel. Male C57BL/6J mice received paclitaxel every other day for a total of four injections (8 mg/kg, i.p.). Acute (0.3-0.9 mg/kg, i.p.) and chronic (24 mg/kg per day, s.c.) administration of nicotine respectively reversed and prevented paclitaxel-induced mechanical allodynia. Blockade of the antinociceptive effect of nicotine with mecamylamine and methyllycaconitine suggests that the reversal of paclitaxel-induced mechanical allodynia is primarily mediated by the alpha 7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subtype. Chronic nicotine treatment also prevented paclitaxel-induced intraepidermal nerve fiber loss. Notably, nicotine neither promoted proliferation of A549 and H460 non-small cell lung cancer cells nor interfered with paclitaxel-induced antitumor effects, including apoptosis. Most importantly, chronic nicotine administration did not enhance Lewis lung carcinoma tumor growth in C57BL/6J mice. These data suggest that the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor-mediated pathways may be promising drug targets for the prevention and treatment of CIPN.