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Int J Cancer. 2019 Aug 28. doi: 10.1002/ijc.32648. [Epub ahead of print]

Dacarbazine alone or associated with melanoma-bearing cancer pain model induces painful hypersensitivity by TRPA1 activation in mice.

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Graduate Program in Biological Sciences: Biochemistry Toxicology, Center of Natural and Exact Sciences, Federal University of Santa Maria, Santa Maria, Brazil.
Department of Health Sciences, University of Florence, Florence, Italy.
Graduate Program in Health Science, University of the Extreme South of Santa Catarina-Unesc, Criciúma, Brazil.
Graduate Program in Physiology and Pharmacology, Health Sciences Center, Federal University of Santa Maria, Santa Maria, Brazil.
Graduate Program in Genetics and Biochemistry, Biotechnology Institute, Federal University of Uberlandia, Uberlandia, Brazil.
Graduate Program in Pharmacology, Federal University of Santa Catarina, Florianopolis, Brazil.


Antineoplastic therapy has been associated with pain syndrome development characterized by acute and chronic pain. The chemotherapeutic agent dacarbazine, used mainly to treat metastatic melanoma, is reported to cause painful symptoms, compromising patient quality of life. Evidence has proposed that transient receptor potential ankyrin 1 (TRPA1) plays a critical role in chemotherapy-induced pain syndrome. Here, we investigated whether dacarbazine causes painful hypersensitivity in naive or melanoma-bearing mice and the involvement of TRPA1 in these models. Mouse dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons and human TRPA1-transfected HEK293 (hTRPA1-HEK293) cells were used to evaluate the TRPA1-mediated calcium response evoked by dacarbazine. Mechanical and cold allodynia were evaluated after acute or repeated dacarbazine administration in naive mice or after inoculation of B16-F10 melanoma cells in C57BL/6 mice. TRPA1 involvement was investigated by using pharmacological and genetic tools (selective antagonist or antisense oligonucleotide treatment and Trpa1 knockout mice). Dacarbazine directly activated TRPA1 in hTRPA1-HEK293 cells and mouse DRG neurons and appears to sensitize TRPA1 indirectly by generating oxidative stress products. Moreover, dacarbazine caused mechanical and cold allodynia in naive but not Trpa1 knockout mice. Also, dacarbazine-induced nociception was reduced by the pharmacological TRPA1 blockade (antagonism), antioxidants, and by ablation of TRPA1 expression. TRPA1 pharmacological blockade also reduced dacarbazine-induced nociception in a tumor-associated pain model. Thus, dacarbazine causes nociception by TRPA1 activation, indicating that this receptor may represent a pharmacological target for treating chemotherapy-induced pain syndrome in cancer patients submitted to antineoplastic treatment with dacarbazine.


HC-030031; allodynia; chemotherapy; melanoma; nociception; paclitaxel


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