The Effect of Repeated Electroacupuncture Analgesia on Neurotrophic and Cytokine Factors in Neuropathic Pain Rats.
Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2016 ;2016:8403064. Epub 2016 Aug 5. PMID: 27800006
Chronic pain is a common disability influencing quality of life. Results of previous studies showed that acupuncture has a cumulative analgesic effect, but the relationship with spinal cytokines neurotrophic factors released by astrocytes remains unknown. The present study was designed to observe the effect of electroacupuncture (EA) treatment on spinal cytokines neurotrophic factors in chronic neuropathic pain rats. The chronic neuropathic pain was established by chronic constrictive injury (CCI). EA treatment was applied at Zusanli (ST36) and Yanglingquan (GB34) (both bilateral) once a day, for 30 min. IL-1β mRNA, TNF-α mRNA, and IL-1 mRNA were detected by quantitative real-time PCR, and the proteins of BDNF, NGF, and NT3/4 were detected by Western blot. The expression levels of cytokines such as IL-1β mRNA, TNF-α mRNA, IL-6 mRNA, and neurotrophic factors such as BDNF, NGF, and NT3/4 in the spinal cord were increased significantly after CCI. The astrocytes released more IL-1β and BDNF after CCI. Repeated EA treatment could suppress the elevated expression of IL-1β mRNA, TNFα mRNA, and BDNF, NGF, and NT3/4 but had no effect on IL-6 mRNA. It is suggested that cytokines and neurotrophic factors which may be closely associated with astrocytes participated in the process of EA relieving chronic pain.