Scientific reports

Preventive effect of oral goshajinkigan on chronic oxaliplatin-induced hypoesthesia in rats.

PMID 26542342


Oxaliplatin, a widely used chemotherapeutic agent, induces peripheral neuropathy that manifests itself as two distinct phases: acute cold hyperesthesia and chronic peripheral hypoesthesia/dysesthesia. The latter is a serious dose-limiting side effect that can often lead to withdrawal of treatment. We have developed a rat model expressing both phases and used the model to investigate the action of goshajinkigan (GJG), a traditional Japanese herbal medicine, which was reported to ameliorate oxaliplatin-induced neuropathy in a placebo-controlled double-blind randomized phase II study. In this study, neuropathy was induced by injection of oxaliplatin twice weekly for 8 wks. The maximum level of cold hyperesthesia was observed at 4 wks with heat hypoesthesia developing later. Microscopy studies revealed atrophy of axons of myelinated sciatic nerve fibers in oxaliplatin-treated rats at 8 wks. Co-administration of GJG ameliorated both abnormal sensations as well as histological damage to the sciatic nerve. A pharmacokinetic study revealed numerous neuroprotective components of GJG that are rapidly absorbed into the blood. GJG and some of its components attenuated the generation of oxaliplatin-induced reactive oxygen species, which is a possible mechanism of oxaliplatin-induced neurotoxicity. The present study provides a useful animal model for oxaliplatin-induced neurotoxicity as well as a promising prophylactic agent.