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Neurosci Lett. 2013 Jun 7;544:41-6. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2013.03.033. Epub 2013 Apr 6.

Use of sodium bicarbonate to promote weight gain, maintain body temperature, normalize renal functions and minimize mortality in rodents receiving the chemotherapeutic agent cisplatin.

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Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405-2204, USA.


A simple method to reduce adverse effects of the chemotherapeutic agent cisplatin on animal health is described. Animals receiving normal saline (0.9% NaCl) s.c. prior to once weekly injections of cisplatin (3 mg/kg i.p.×3 or 4 weeks) exhibited failure of weight gain, lowered body temperature, elevations in creatinine and ketone levels and increased kidney weight ratios. By contrast, rats treated with sodium bicarbonate (4% NaHCO3 in saline s.c.) prior to cisplatin (3 mg/kg i.p.×3 or 4 weeks) exhibited normal weight gain, body temperature, creatinine and ketone levels, as well as normal kidney weight ratios (over 16 or 28 days, respectively). Cisplatin-induced neuropathy (i.e. mechanical and cold allodynia) developed equivalently in both groups. Our studies suggest that NaHCO3 pretreatment promotes animal health and minimizes weight loss, body temperature dysregulation and signs of renal toxicity (i.e. increases in creatinine and kidney weight ratio) following repeated cisplatin treatment without altering the development of chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy.

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