Purpose: Cold and mechanical allodynia caused by oxaliplatin-induced acute peripheral neuropathy frequently occur after drug infusion. Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) has been used to improve pain symptoms associated with various conditions and may have potential as a therapy for oxaliplatin-induced allodynia. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the antiallodynic effect of LLLT in an oxaliplatin-treated animal model by assessing sensory behavioral responses, levels of nerve growth factor (NGF), and transient receptor potential M8 (TRPM8) in dorsal root ganglia (DRG) neurons, as well as substance P (SP) in the spinal dorsal horn.
Methods: Adult male Sprague-Dawley rats each received a total of four doses of oxaliplatin (4 mg/kg, i.p.), injected at 3-day intervals. Following oxaliplatin administration, LLLT (7.5 J/cm(2)) was applied for 12 consecutive days to the skin surface directly above sites where the sciatic nerve is distributed. Behavioral assessments were then performed, followed by immunoassays for NGF, TRPM8, and SP proteins.
Results: LLLT relieved both cold and mechanical allodynia induced by oxaliplatin in rats. Oxaliplatin-related increases in protein levels of NGF and TRPM8 in DRG and SP in the dorsal horn were also reduced after LLLT.
Conclusion: The findings of this study support LLLT as a potential treatment for oxaliplatin-induced neuropathy. Moreover, our findings suggest that SP, TRPM8, and NGF proteins in the superficial dorsal horn and DRG may be involved in an antiallodynic effect for LLLT.
Keywords: Cold allodynia; Low-level laser therapy; Mechanical allodynia; Oxaliplatin; Peripheral neuropathy.