A single infusion of oxaliplatin, which is widely used to treat metastatic colorectal cancer, induces specific sensory neurotoxicity signs that are triggered or aggravated when exposed to cold or mechanical stimuli.
Bee Venom (BV) has been traditionally used in Korea to treat various pain symptoms. Our recent study demonstrated that BV alleviates oxaliplatin-induced cold allodynia in rats, via noradrenergic and serotonergic analgesic pathways.
In this study, we have further investigated whether BV derived phospholipase A2 (bvPLA2) attenuates oxaliplatin-induced cold and mechanical allodynia in mice and its mechanism. The behavioral signs of cold and mechanical allodynia were evaluated by acetone and a von Frey hair test on the hind paw, respectively. The significant allodynia signs were observed from one day after an oxaliplatin injection (6 mg/kg, i.p.). Daily administration of bvPLA2 (0.2 mg/kg, i.p.) for five consecutive days markedly attenuated cold and mechanical allodynia, which was more potent than the effect of BV (1 mg/kg, i.p.). The depletion of noradrenaline by an injection of N-(2-chloroethyl)-N-ethyl-2-bromobenzylamine hydrochloride (DSP4, 50 mg/kg, i.p.) blocked the analgesic effect of bvPLA2, whereas the depletion of serotonin by injecting DL-p-chlorophenylalanine (PCPA, 150 mg/kg, i.p.) for three successive days did not. Furthermore, idazoxan (α2-adrenegic receptor antagonist, 1 mg/kg, i.p.) completely blocked bvPLA2-induced anti-allodynic action, whereas prazosin (α1-adrenegic antagonist, 10 mg/kg, i.p.) did not.
These results suggest that bvPLA2 treatment strongly alleviates oxaliplatin-induced acute cold and mechanical allodynia in mice through the activation of the noradrenergic system, via α2-adrenegic receptors, but not via the serotonergic system.