Effects of Oxaliplatin Treatment on the Myenteric Plexus Innervation and Glia in the Murine Distal Colon

Vanesa Stojanovska, Rachel M. McQuade, Sarah Miller, Kulmira Nurgali

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3 Citations (Scopus)


Oxaliplatin (platinum-based chemotherapeutic agent) is a first-line treatment of colorectal malignancies; its use associates with peripheral neuropathies and gastrointestinal side effects. These gastrointestinal dysfunctions might be due to toxic effects of oxaliplatin on the intestinal innervation and glia. Male Balb/c mice received intraperitoneal injections of sterile water or oxaliplatin (3 mg/kg/d) triweekly for 2 weeks. Colon tissues were collected for immunohistochemical assessment at day 14. The density of sensory, adrenergic, and cholinergic nerve fibers labeled with calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), and vesicular acetylcholine transporter (VAChT), respectively, was assessed within the myenteric plexus of the distal colon. The number and proportion of excitatory neurons immunoreactive (IR) against choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) were counted, and the density of glial subpopulations was determined by using antibodies specific for glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and s100β protein. Oxaliplatin treatment induced significant reduction of sensory and adrenergic innervations, as well as the total number and proportion of ChAT-IR neurons, and GFAP-IR glia, but increased s100β expression within the myenteric plexus of the distal colon. Treatment with oxaliplatin significantly alters nerve fibers and glial cells in the colonic myenteric plexus, which could contribute to long-term gastrointestinal side effects following chemotherapeutic treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)723-736
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Histochemistry and Cytochemistry
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • colon
  • glial cells
  • myenteric neurons
  • nerve fibers
  • oxaliplatin

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