2023 Volume 46 Issue 1 Pages 102-110
Peripheral neuropathy is one of the major adverse effects that limit the clinical application of bortezomib (BTZ). However, the underlying mechanisms of BTZ-induced peripheral neuropathy (BIPN) remain elusive. To examine cell types potentially involved in the development of BIPN, we used four purified cultures of cells of the peripheral nervous system: Schwann cells (SCs), satellite glial cells (SGCs), macrophages, and dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons. Administration of a low BTZ concentration (5 nM; similar to concentrations in clinical use) caused dedifferentiation of cultured SCs, returning mature SCs to an immature state. In cultured SGCs, BTZ increased glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) levels without inducing the release of inflammatory cytokines or chemokines. In macrophages, BTZ caused little inflammatory response. Finally, in DRG neurons, BTZ strongly suppressed the expression levels of sensor and transducer ion channels without affecting cell morphology. Taken together, low concentrations of BTZ can cause SC dedifferentiation (i.e., demyelination), increased GFAP level in SGC, and decreased expression levels of sensor and transducer ion channels in DRG neurons (i.e., numbness feeling). Thus, we have reported, for the first time, specific effects of BTZ on peripheral nervous system cells, thereby contributing to a better understanding of the initiating mechanism of BIPN.