Effect of Bee Venom Acupuncture on Oxaliplatin-Induced Cold Allodynia in Rats

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013;2013:369324. doi: 10.1155/2013/369324. Epub 2013 Aug 22.

Abstract

Oxaliplatin, a chemotherapy drug, often leads to neuropathic cold allodynia after a single administration. Bee venom acupuncture (BVA) has been used in Korea to relieve various pain symptoms and is shown to have a potent antiallodynic effect in nerve-injured rats. We examined whether BVA relieves oxaliplatin-induced cold allodynia and which endogenous analgesic system is implicated. The cold allodynia induced by an oxaliplatin injection (6 mg/kg, i.p.) was evaluated by immersing the rat's tail into cold water (4°C) and measuring the withdrawal latency. BVA (1.0 mg/kg, s.c.) at Yaoyangguan (GV3), Quchi (LI11), or Zusanli (ST36) acupoints significantly reduced cold allodynia with the longest effect being shown in the GV3 group. Conversely, a high dose of BVA (2.5 mg/kg) at GV3 did not show a significant antiallodynic effect. Phentolamine ( α -adrenergic antagonist, 2 mg/kg, i.p.) partially blocked the relieving effect of BVA on allodynia, whereas naloxone (opioid antagonist, 2 mg/kg, i.p.) did not. We further confirmed that an intrathecal administration of idazoxan ( α 2-adrenergic antagonist, 50 μ g) blocked the BVA-induced anti-allodynic effect. These results indicate that BVA alleviates oxaliplatin-induced cold allodynia in rats, at least partly, through activation of the noradrenergic system. Thus, BVA might be a potential therapeutic option in oxaliplatin-induced neuropathy.