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Toll-Like Receptor 4 Signaling Contributes to Paclitaxel-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy

      Abstract

      This paper tests the contribution of the toll-like receptors, TLR4 in particular, in the initiation and maintenance of paclitaxel-related chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy. TLR4 and its immediate downstream signaling molecules—myeloid differentiation primary response gene 88 (MyD88) and toll/interleukin 1 receptor domain–containing adapter-inducing interferon-β (TRIF)—were found to be increased in the dorsal root ganglion (DRG) using Western blot by day 7 of paclitaxel treatment. The behavioral phenotype, the increase of both TLR4 and MyD88, was blocked by cotreatment with the TLR4 antagonist lipopolysaccharide–Rhodobacter sphaeroides during chemotherapy. A similar, but less robust, behavioral effect was observed using intrathecal treatment of MyD88 homodimerization inhibitory peptide. DRG levels of TLR4 and MyD88 reduced over the next 2 weeks, whereas these levels remained increased in spinal cord through day 21 following chemotherapy. Immunohistochemical analysis revealed TLR4 expression in both calcitonin gene-related peptide–positive and isolectin B4–positive small DRG neurons. MyD88 was only found in calcitonin gene-related peptide–positive neurons, and TRIF was found in both calcitonin gene-related peptide–positive and isolectin B4–positive small DRG neurons as well as in medium- and large-size DRG neurons. In the spinal cord, TLR4 was only found colocalized to astrocytes but not with either microglia or neurons. Intrathecal treatment with the TLR4 antagonist lipopolysaccharide–R. sphaeroides transiently reversed preestablished chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy mechanical hypersensitivity. These results strongly implicate TLR4 signaling in the DRG and the spinal cord in the induction and maintenance of paclitaxel-related chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy.

      Perspective

      The toll-like receptor TLR4 and MyD88 signaling pathway could be a new potential therapeutic target in paclitaxel-induced painful neuropathy.

      Key words

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