Background: Chemotherapy-induced neuropathic pain is a significant side effect of chemotherapeutic agents. Currently, there are no effective analgesics for chemotherapy-induced neuropathic pain. Rolipram is a selective phosphodiesterase 4 inhibitor, which increases intracellular cyclic AMP in nerve and immune cells. The aim of our study was to determine the analgesic effects of rolipram on paclitaxel (PAC)-induced neuropathic pain in rats.
Methods: Chemotherapy-induced neuropathic pain was produced by intraperitoneal injection of PAC on 4 alternate days in male Sprague-Dawley rats. Mechanical allodynia was measured by using von Frey filaments.
Results: After the rats developed PAC-induced pain behavior (such as mechanical allodynia), a single intraperitoneal injection and continuous infusion of rolipram ameliorated PAC-induced pain behavior. In addition, systemic infusion of the drug during the early phase of developing pain behavior did not prevent the development of mechanical allodynia induced by PAC.
Conclusions: These results suggest that rolipram alleviated mechanical allodynia induced by PAC in rats. Thus, phosphodiesterase 4 inhibitors may prove useful in the treatment of chemotherapy-induced neuropathic pain. However, further studies are needed to clarify their effects in clinical settings.