Mariarosaria Cuozzo, Vanessa Castelli, Carmen Avagliano, Annamaria Cimini, Michele d’Angelo, Claudia Cristiano and Roberto Russo.


Department of Pharmacy, University of Naples Federico II, 80131 Napoli, Italy.


Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) represents one of the most prevalent and potentially disabling side effects due to the use of anticancer drugs, one of the primary neuropathies detected is peripheral neuropathy induced by administration of taxanes, including paclitaxel. It has been demonstrated that gut microbiota is crucial for the therapeutic effect of chemotherapeutic drugs for inhibiting tumor growth and contributed to the pathogenesis of the CIPN. The use of nutraceuticals has receiving growing attention from the research community due to their phytochemical, biological, and pharmacological properties. It has been demonstrated that probiotic formulations may both reduce inflammation and modulate the expression of pain receptors. Our studies tested the efficacy of a probiotic formulation, SLAB51, in preventing paclitaxel-induced neuropathy. Interestingly, our probiotic formulation was able to keep the gut integrity, preserving its functionality, in CIPN-mice, moreover, it prevented the mechanical and cold hypersensitivity induced in paclitaxel-mice. Additionally, ex-vivo analysis showed that in CIPN-mice the pro-biotic treatment increased the expression of opioid and cannabinoid receptors in spinal cord, it prevented in the reduction in nerve fiber damage in the paws and modulated the serum proinflammatory cytokines concentration. On basis of these data, the use of this specific probiotic formulation may represent a valid adjuvant agent to paclitaxel, useful and not toxic for long-lasting therapies.

Biomedicines 2021, 9, 346.