Attenuation of mechanical allodynia by clinically utilized drugs in a rat chemotherapy-induced neuropathic pain model

James J. Lynch, Carrie L. Wade, Chengmin M. Zhong, Joseph P. Mikusa, Prisca Honore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

105 Scopus citations


Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy is a common, dose-limiting side effect of cancer chemotherapeutic agents, including the vinca alkaloids such as vincristine. The resulting symptoms, which frequently include moderate to severe pain, can often be disabling. The current study utilized a vincristine-induced neuropathic pain animal model [Pain 93 (2001) 69], in which rats were surgically implanted with mini-osmotic pumps set to deliver vincristine sulfate (30 μg kg-1day-1, i.v.), to examine the time course of progression of various pain modalities and to compare the dose-response effects of clinically utilized drugs on mechanical allodynia to further validate the relevance of this model to clinical pathology. Vincristine infusion resulted in significant cold allodynia after 1 week post-infusion, however mechanical and thermal nociception showed little to no effect. In contrast, marked mechanical allodynia occurred by 1 week of vincristine infusion and returned nearly to pre-infusion levels by the 4th week after infusion pump implantation. ED 50 values (μmol/kg, p.o.) were determined in the mechanical allodynia assay for lamotrigine (82), dextromethorphan (94), gabapentin (400), acetaminophen (1100) and carbamazepine (3600); however, aspirin and ibuprofen had no effects up to 300 and 1000μmol/kg, respectively. Additionally, ED 50 values (μmol/kg, i.p.) were determined in the mechanical allodynia assay for clonidine (0.35) and morphine (0.62), but desipramine and celecoxib had no effects up to 66 and 260μmol/kg, respectively. Findings from the current, preclinical study further validate this model as clinically relevant for chemotherapy-induced pain. The surprisingly good effects observed with acetaminophen warrant further investigation of its mechanism(s) of action in neuropathic pain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)56-63
Number of pages8
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jul 2004

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors gratefully acknowledge Michael Decker and Andrea Best for their helpful comments/suggestions, and William Bunnelle, Michael Dart and Huaqing Liu for synthesizing gabapentin, lamotrigine and celecoxib, respectively. Funding supported by Abbott Laboratories.


  • Acetaminophen
  • Allodynia
  • Cancer pain
  • Morphine
  • Neuropathic pain model
  • Vincristine


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