Treatment of electrical wrist stimulation reduces chemotherapy-induced neuropathy and ultrasound vocalization via modulation of spinal NR2B phosphorylation.Brain Res Bull. 2020 Sep; 162:237-244.BR
Docetaxel, a chemotherapeutic agent used to treat breast cancer, produces a robust painful neuropathy that is aggravated by mechanical and thermal stimuli. This study was undertaken to investigate the analgesic effects of electrical stimulation on docetaxel-induced neuropathic pain in mice and to identify associated changes in ultrasound vocalizations. Peripheral neuropathy was induced with intraperitoneally injected docetaxel (5 mg/kg) on 3 times every 2 days in male ICR mice. Electrical wrist stimulation was administered and pain behavior signs were evaluated by von Frey filaments and thermal stimulation on the hind paw. Ultrasound vocalizations were measured using ultrasound microphones, after electrical stimulation. After mice developed docetaxel-induced neuropathic pain behavior, an electrical stimulation temporarily attenuated mechanical allodynia and thermal hyperalgesia. In formalin and NMDA test, pain-induced mice showed increases in 10-30 kHz ultrasound vocalizations, but not in 30-50 and 50-80 kHz vocalizations. Treatment with docetaxel selectively increased 10-30 kHz ultrasound vocalizations, whereas electrical stimulation caused a meaningful decrease. Moreover, electrical stimulation suppressed the docetaxel-enhanced phosphorylation of the NMDA receptor NR2B subunit in the spinal dorsal horn. These results of the analgesic effect of electrical stimulation in chemotherapy-induced neuropathy could potentially provide a new method to treat and manage peripheral neuropathy in patients with cancer.