Functional Characterization of Nociceptive Mechanisms Involved in Fibromyalgia and Electroacupuncture.
Brain Res. 2021 Jan 7:147260. Epub 2021 Jan 7. PMID: 33422528
The diagnosis and treatment of chronic pain in diseases such as fibromyalgia (FM) are lacking effective standardised protocols that can be widely accessed and implemented by healthcare professionals across the globe. Persistent hyperalgesia and allodynia are characteristic symptoms of FM. This disease has indicated a refractory tendency to conventional treatment ventures, largely resultant from a lack of etiological and pathogenic understanding of the disease development. Emerging evidence indicates that the central nervous system (CNS) plays a critical role in the amplification of pain signals and the neurotransmitters associated therewith. We examined the contribution of the transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) channel and the major nociceptive components in response to fibromyalgia-like pain in an intermittent cold-stress (ICS) model, in the prefrontal cortex, somatosensory cortex, hippocampus and thalamus areas of the brain. The use of TRPV1 gene deletion mice served to elucidate the role of the TRPV1 receptor in the development and expression of FM-like pain. The results suggest that TRPV1 upregulation is central to the sustained sensation of FM related hyperalgesia. Furthermore, the potential therapeutic benefits of electroacupuncture (EA) at bilateral ST36 acupoint were analysed in order to identify the analgesic effects and mechanism associated with this therapy. The findings indicate that EA treatment successfully attenuated both mechanical and thermal hyperalgesia and suggests that a definitive underlying mechanism of neuromodulation through EA is responsible for providing analgesic benefits to patients suffering from FM.