Nicotinamide riboside, a form of vitamin B3 and NAD+ precursor, relieves the nociceptive and aversive dimensions of paclitaxel-induced peripheral neuropathy in female rats

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Abstract

Injury to sensory afferents may contribute to the peripheral neuropathies that develop after administration of chemotherapeutic agents. Manipulations that increase levels of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) can protect against neuronal injury. This study examined whether nicotinamide riboside (NR), a third form of vitamin B3 and precursor of NAD+, diminishes tactile hypersensitivity and place escape–avoidance behaviors in a rodent model of paclitaxel-induced peripheral neuropathy. Female Sprague-Dawley rats received 3 intravenous injections of 6.6 mg/kg paclitaxel over 5 days. Daily oral administration of 200 mg/kg NR beginning 7 days before paclitaxel treatment and continuing for another 24 days prevented the development of tactile hypersensitivity and blunted place escape–avoidance behaviors. These effects were sustained after a 2-week washout period. This dose of NR increased blood levels of NAD+ by 50%, did not interfere with the myelosuppressive effects of paclitaxel, and did not produce adverse locomotor effects. Treatment with 200 mg/kg NR for 3 weeks after paclitaxel reversed the well-established tactile hypersensitivity in a subset of rats and blunted escape–avoidance behaviors. Pretreatment with 100 mg/kg oral acetyl-L-carnitine (ALCAR) did not prevent paclitaxel-induced tactile hypersensitivity or blunt escape–avoidance behaviors. ALCAR by itself produced tactile hypersensitivity. These findings suggest that agents that increase NAD+, a critical cofactor for mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation systems and cellular redox systems involved with fuel utilization and energy metabolism, represent a novel therapeutic approach for relief of chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathies. Because NR is a vitamin B3 precursor of NAD+ and a nutritional supplement, clinical tests of this hypothesis may be accelerated.

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