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Ann Neurol. 2011 Jul;70(1):101-9. doi: 10.1002/ana.22382.

Muscle pain in models of chemotherapy-induced and alcohol-induced peripheral neuropathy.

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  • 1Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143-0440, USA.



While inflammatory pain is well described in skeletal muscle, neuropathic muscle pain remains to be clarified. We used 3 well-established rodent models of peripheral neuropathy to evaluate for muscle pain.


In rats exposed to either of 2 neurotoxic cancer chemotherapies, paclitaxel or oxaliplatin, or to alcohol consumption, we assessed the evolution of mechanical hyperalgesia in skeletal muscle and skin, in the same animal. To explore the involvement of protein kinase C epsilon (PKCε), a second messenger implicated in some forms of neuropathic pain, antisense oligodeoxynucleotides (AS-ODNs) or mismatch ODNs (MM-ODNs) for PKCε were administered intrathecally.


Rats submitted to models of chemotherapy-induced and alcohol-induced neuropathy developed persistent muscle hyperalgesia, which evolved in parallel in muscle and skin. The administration of PKCε AS, which has been shown to mediate cutaneous hyperalgesia in paclitaxel and ethanol models of neuropathic pain, also inhibited muscle hyperalgesia induced by these agents. Stopping AS-ODN was associated with the reappearance of hyperalgesia at both sites. The AS-ODN to PKCε treatment was devoid of effect in both muscle and skin in the oxaliplatin neuropathy model.


Our results support the suggestion that neuropathic muscle pain may be a greater clinical problem than generally appreciated.

Copyright © 2011 American Neurological Association.

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