The antiemetic 5-HT3 receptor antagonist palonosetron inhibits substance P-mediated responses in vitro and in vivo

Camilo Rojas, Ying Li, Jie Zhang, Marigo Stathis, Jesse Alt, Ajit G. Thomas, Sergio Cantoreggi, Silvia Sebastiani, Claudio Pietra, Barbara S. Slusher

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95 Scopus citations


Palonosetron is the only 5-HT3 receptor antagonist approved for the treatment of delayed chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) in moderately emetogenic chemotherapy. Accumulating evidence suggests that substance P (SP), the endogenous ligand acting preferentially on neurokinin-1 (NK-1) receptors, not serotonin (5-HT), is the dominant mediator of delayed emesis. However, palonosetron does not bind to the NK-1 receptor. Recent data have revealed cross-talk between the NK-1 and 5HT3 receptor signaling pathways; we postulated that if palonosetron differentially inhibited NK-1/5-HT3 cross-talk, it could help explain its efficacy profile in delayed emesis. Consequently, we evaluated the effect of palonosetron, granisetron, and ondansetron on SP-induced responses in vitro and in vivo. NG108-15 cells were preincubated with palonosetron, granisetron, or ondansetron; antagonists were removed and the effect on serotonin enhancement of SP-induced calcium release was measured. In the absence of antagonist, serotonin enhanced SP-induced calcium-ion release. After preincubation with palonosetron, but not ondansetron or granisetron, the serotonin enhancement of the SP response was inhibited. Rats were treated with cisplatin and either palonosetron, granisetron, or ondansetron. At various times after dosing, single neuronal recordings from nodose ganglia were collected after stimulation with SP; nodose ganglia neuronal responses to SP were enhanced when the animals were pretreated with cisplatin. Palonosetron, but not ondansetron or granisetron, dose-dependently inhibited the cisplatin-induced SP enhancement. The results are consistent with previous data showing that palonosetron exhibits distinct pharmacology versus the older 5-HT3 receptor antagonists and provide a rationale for the efficacy observed with palonosetron in delayed CINV in the clinic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)362-368
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology


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