Abstract

Nerve terminals within the tumor microenvironment as potential pain-mitigating targets for local infiltration analgesia is relatively less explored. In this study, we examine the role of key analgesics administered as local infiltration analgesia in a model of cancer-induced bone pain (CIBP). CIBP was induced by administration of allogenic MRMT1 breast cancer cells in the proximal tibia of rats, and tumor mass characterized using radiogram, micro-CT, and histological analysis. In vitro responsiveness to key analgesics δ-opioid receptor agonist (DOPr), Ca2+ channel and TRPV1 antagonists was assessed using ratiometric Ca2+ imaging in sensory neurons innervating the tumor site. Effectiveness of locally infiltrated analgesics administered independently or in combination was assessed by quantifying evoked limb withdrawal thresholds at two distinct sites for up to 14 days. CIBP animals demonstrated DOPr, N-, and L-type and TRPV1 expression in lumbar dorsal root ganglion neurons (DRG), comparable to controls. Evoked Ca2+ transients in DRG neurons from CIBP animals were significantly reduced in response to treatment with compounds targeting DOPr, N-, L-type Ca2+ channels and TRPV1 proteins. Behaviourally, evoked hyperalgesia at the tumor site was strongly mitigated by peritumoral injection of the DOPr agonist and T-type calcium antagonist, via its activity on bone afferents. Results from this study suggest that nerve terminals at tumor site could be utilized as targets for specific analgesics, using local infiltration analgesia.

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