Background: Oxaliplatin has widely been used as a key drug in the treatment of colorectal cancer; however, it causes peripheral neuropathy. Exenatide, a glucagon-like, peptide-1 (GLP-1) agonist, is an incretin mimetic secreted from ileal L cells, which is clinically used to treat type 2 diabetes mellitus. GLP-1 receptor agonists have been reported to exhibit neuroprotective effects on the central and peripheral nervous systems. In this study, we investigated the effects of exenatide on oxaliplatin-induced neuropathy in rats and cultured cells. Methods: Oxaliplatin (4 mg/kg) was administered intravenously twice per week for 4 weeks, and mechanical allodynia was evaluated using the von Frey test in rats. Axonal degeneration was assessed by toluidine blue staining of sciatic nerves. Results: Repeated administration of oxaliplatin caused mechanical allodynia from day 14 to 49. Although the co-administration of extended-release exenatide (100 μg/kg) could not inhibit the incidence of oxaliplatin-induced mechanical allodynia, it facilitated recovery from the oxaliplatin- induced neuropathy with reparation of axonal degeneration. Inhibition of neurite outgrowth was evaluated in cultured pheochromocytoma 12 (PC12) cells. Exenatide inhibited oxaliplatininduced neurite degeneration, but did not affect oxaliplatin-induced cell injury in cultured PC12 cells. Additionally, extended-release exenatide had no effect on the anti-tumor activity of oxaliplatin in cultured murine colon adenocarcinoma 26 (C-26) cells or C-26 cell-implanted mice. Conclusion: These results suggest that exenatide may be useful for treating peripheral neuropathy induced by oxaliplatin in colorectal cancer patients with type 2 diabetes.
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