Chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) is a painful side-effect of commonly used chemotherapeutic agents that profoundly impair the quality of life of patients as the current pharmacotherapeutic strategies are inefficient in providing adequate pain relief. Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies are preferred by patients with neuropathic pain as they experience insufficient control of pain with conventional medications. This study describes the antinociceptive effect of Tithonia tubaeformis (Jacq.) Cass. in a vincristine mouse model of established CIPN.
Tithonia tubaeformis hydromethanolic extract was tested for preliminary qualitative phytochemical analysis and acute oral toxicity test in mice. The antinociceptive effect was investigated using the abdominal constriction (writhing) and tail immersion tests (25-200 mg/kg). The anti-neuropathic effect was determined in the vincristine mouse model, established by daily administration of vincristine (0.1 mg/kg/day, i.p) for consecutive 14 days. Acute treatment with Tithonia tubaeformis (100 and 200 mg/kg) and the positive control, gabapentin (75 mg/kg) was carried out on the 15th day of the last vincrsitine dose and the animals were tested for allodynia and thermal hyperalgesia at 30-120 min post extract/drug administration.
Vincristine produced significant temporal tactile allodynia and thermal hyperalgesia (P < 0.01 and P < 0.001 on day 7 and 14) and was maintained for the subsequent day (P < 0.001 during 30-120 min). Tithonia tubaeformis was effective in attenuating the vincristine-induced allodynia and thermal hyperalgesia at 100 mg/kg (P < 0.05, P < 0.01) and 200 mg/kg (P < 0.01, P < 0.001). Similarly, gabapentin also showed a robust antinociceptive effect in counteracting the vincristine associated behavioral alterations.
Tithonia tubaeformis can be an effective CAM therapeutic remedy for established CIPN due to its potential antinociceptive effect in attenuating vincristine-induced neuropathy.