Cannabinoid agonist WIN 55,212-2 prevents the development of paclitaxel-induced peripheral neuropathy in rats. Possible involvement of spinal glial cells
Spinal glial activation contributes to the development and maintenance of chronic pain states, including neuropathic pain of diverse etiologies. Cannabinoid compounds have shown antinociceptive properties in a variety of neuropathic pain models and are emerging as a promising class of drugs to treat neuropathic pain. Thus, the effects of repeated treatment with WIN 55,212-2, a synthetic cannabinoid agonist, were examined throughout the development of paclitaxel-induced peripheral neuropathy. Painful neuropathy was induced in male Wistar rats by intraperitoneal (i.p.) administration of paclitaxel (1 mg/kg) on four alternate days. Paclitaxel-treated animals received WIN 55,212-2 (1 mg/kg, i.p.) or minocycline (15 mg/kg, i.p.), a microglial inhibitor, daily for 14 days, simultaneous with the antineoplastic. The development of hypersensitive behaviors was assessed on days 1, 7, 14, 21 and 28 following the initial administration of drugs. Both the activation of glial cells (microglia and astrocytes) at day 29 and the time course of proinflammatory cytokine release within the spinal cord were also determined. Similar to minocycline, repeated administration of WIN 55,212-2 prevented the development of thermal hyperalgesia and mechanical allodynia in paclitaxeltreated rats. WIN 55,212-2 treatment also prevented spinal microglial and astrocytic activation evoked by paclitaxel at day 29 and attenuated the early production of spinal proinflammatory cytokines (interleukin (IL)-1ß, IL-6 and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-¿). Our results confirm changes in the reactivity of glial cells during the development of peripheral neuropathy induced by paclitaxel and support a preventive effect of WIN 55,212-2, probably via glial cells reactivity inactivation, on the development of this neuropathy.