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Probing the peripheral immune response in mouse models of oxaliplatin-induced peripheral neuropathy highlights their limited translatability

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Original languageEnglish
Article number68
JournalWellcome Open Research

Bibliographical note

Funding Information: We would like to thank Professor Andrew Rice for his expertise and advice. We also wish to thank our placement BSc students Covadonga Mont Fernandez and Raquel Llama Hernandez for aiding with the BMDM experiments conducted during this study and Dr Naomi Shinotsuka for her help harvesting and culturing BMDMs. Publisher Copyright: © 2021 Hore ZL et al. Copyright: Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

King's Authors


Background: Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) is a disabling side effect of various chemotherapeutic agents, including oxaliplatin. It is highly prevalent amongst cancer patients, causing sensory abnormalities and pain. Unfortunately, as the underlying mechanisms remain poorly understood, effective therapeutics are lacking. Neuro-immune interactions have been highlighted as potential contributors to the development and maintenance of CIPN, however, whether this is the case in oxaliplatin-induced peripheral neuropathy (OIPN) is yet to be fully established. Methods: In this study we used flow cytometry to examine the peripheral immune response of male C57BL/6 mice following both single and repeated oxaliplatin administration. In animals exposed to repeated dosing, we also undertook mechanical and thermal behavioural assays to investigate how oxaliplatin alters phenotype, and conducted RT-qPCR experiments on bone marrow derived macrophages in order to further inspect the effects of oxaliplatin on immune cells. Results: In contrast to other reports, we failed to observe substantial changes in overall leukocyte, lymphocyte or myeloid cell numbers in dorsal root ganglia, sciatic nerves or inguinal lymph nodes. We did however note subtle, tissue-dependant alterations in several myeloid subpopulations following repeated dosing. These included a significant reduction in MHCII antigen presenting cells in the sciatic nerve and an increase in infiltrating cell types into the inguinal lymph nodes. Though repeated oxaliplatin administration had a systemic effect, we were unable to detect a pain-like behavioural phenotype in response to either cold or mechanical stimuli. Consequently, we cannot comment on whether the observed myeloid changes are associated with OIPN. Conclusions: Our discussion puts these results into the wider context of the field, advocating for greater transparency in reporting, alignment in experimental design and the introduction of more clinically relevant models. Only through joint concerted effort can we hope to increase our understanding of the underlying mechanisms of CIPN, including any immune contributions.

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