Carvedilol prevents functional deficits in peripheral nerve mitochondria of rats with oxaliplatin-evoked painful peripheral neuropathy

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Oxaliplatin use as chemotherapeutic agent is frequently limited by cumulative neurotoxicity which may compromise quality of life. Reports relate this neurotoxic effect to oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction in peripheral nerves and dorsal root ganglion (DRG). Carvedilol is an antihypertensive drug, has also been appreciated for its antioxidant and mitoprotective properties. Carvedilol co-treatment did not reduce the anti-tumor effects of oxaliplatin in human colon cancer cells (HT-29), but exhibited free radical scavenging activity against oxaliplatin-induced oxidative stress in neuronal cells (Neuro-2a). Hence, the present study was designed to investigate the effect of carvedilol in the experimental model of oxaliplatin-induced peripheral neuropathy (OIPN) in Sprague-Dawley rats. Oxaliplatin reduced the sensory nerve conduction velocity and produced the thermal and mechanical nociception. Carvedilol significantly (P < 0.001) attenuated these functional and sensorimotor deficits. It also counteracted oxidative/nitrosative stress by reducing the levels of nitrotyrosine and improving the mitochondrial superoxide dismutase expression in both sciatic nerve and DRG tissues. It improved the mitochondrial function and prevented the oxaliplatin-induced alteration in mitochondrial membrane potential in sciatic nerve thus prevented loss of intra epidermal nerve fiber density in the foot pads. Together the results prompt the use of carvedilol along with chemotherapy with oxaliplatin to prevent the peripheral neuropathy.Graphical abstractSchematic representation neuroprotective mechanisms of carvedilol in oxaliplatin-induced peripheral neuropathy.HighlightsOxaliplatin-induced mitochondrial dysfunction causes neurotoxicity.Mitochondrial dysfunction leads to bioenergetic and functional deficits.Carvedilol alleviated oxaliplatin-induced behavioural and functional changes.Targeting mitochondria with carvedilol attenuated neuropathic pain.

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