Cancer patients frequently develop chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN), a painful and long-lasting disorder with profound somatosensory deficits. There are no effective therapies to prevent or treat this disorder. Pathologically, CIPN is characterized by a “dying-back” axonopathy that begins at intra-epidermal nerve terminals of sensory neurons and progresses in a retrograde fashion. Calcium dysregulation constitutes a critical event in CIPN, but it is not known how chemotherapies such as paclitaxel alter intra-axonal calcium and cause degeneration. Here, we demonstrate that paclitaxel triggers Sarm1-dependent cADPR production in distal axons, promoting intra-axonal calcium flux from both intracellular and extracellular calcium stores. Genetic or pharmacologic antagonists of cADPR signaling prevent paclitaxel-induced axon degeneration and allodynia symptoms, without mitigating the anti-neoplastic efficacy of paclitaxel. Our data demonstrate that cADPR is a calcium-modulating factor that promotes paclitaxel-induced axon degeneration and suggest that targeting cADPR signaling provides a potential therapeutic approach for treating paclitaxel-induced peripheral neuropathy (PIPN).

This article is distributed under the terms of an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike–No Mirror Sites license for the first six months after the publication date (see After six months it is available under a Creative Commons License (Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 4.0 International license, as described at
You do not currently have access to this content.