Zinc is a transition metal that has a long history of use as an anti-inflammatory agent. It also soothes pain sensations in a number of animal models. However, the effects and mechanisms of zinc on chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy remain unknown. Here we show that locally injected zinc markedly reduces neuropathic pain in male and female mice induced by paclitaxel, a chemotherapy drug, in a TRPV1-dependentmanner.Extracellularly applied zinc also inhibits the function ofTRPV1expressed inHEK293cellsandmouseDRGneurons, which requires thepresenceofzinc-permeableTRPA1tomediateentry of zinc into thecytoplasm.Moreover,TRPA1isrequiredforzinc-induced inhibition of TRPV1-mediated acute nociception. Unexpectedly, zinc transporters, but not TRPA1, are required for zinc-induced inhibition of TRPV1-dependent chronic neuropathic pain produced by paclitaxel. Together, our study demonstrates a novel mechanism underlying the analgesic effect of zinc on paclitaxel-induced neuropathic pain that relies on the function of TRPV1.
- Neuropathic pain