Effect of Electroacupuncture on Relieving Central Post-Stroke Pain by Inhibiting Autophagy in the Hippocampus.
Brain Res. 2020 Jan 24:146680. Epub 2020 Jan 24. PMID: 31987731
INTRODUCTION: To explore the underlying mechanism of electroacupuncture (EA) treatment on central post-stroke pain (CPSP), and provide basic evidence for the EA treatment on CPSP.
METHODS: Firstly, 40 male SD rats were successfully established with a model of CPSP, under the intervention of different EA frequencies (2 Hz and 15 Hz) and fluoxetine (5 ml/kg and 0.4 mg/ml), whose brain tissue was then removed for paraffin-embedded sectioning; secondly, LPS induced the primary brain cells in the hippocampus to cause inflammation model which were added NS398 (inhibitor of COX-2) and DKK-1 (inhibitor ofβ-catenin) later. The lesion sites of brain tissue were observed by Nissl staining and Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM) and autophagy-related proteins (LC3B, p62, LAMP-1), COX-2 and β-catenin were detected by Western Blot and immunohistochemical staining. Finally, the correlation between LC3B, COX-2, and β-catenin was calculated by multispectral quantification.
RESULTS: (1) In the EA group (15 Hz), the number of Nissl bodies increased, autophagy-related protein LC3B-Ⅱ/Ⅰ, LAMP-1, COX-2, and β-catenin was lowly expressed, p62 was highly expressed; (2) COX-2, β-catenin and LC3B are positively correlated with each other (COX-2&β-catenin: r=0.923; COX-2&LC3B: r=0.818;β-catenin&LC3B: r=0.801); (3) Nissl bodies of primary brain cells of the hippocampus under LPS were like animal experiments; after addition of DKK-1, high expression ofβ-catenin and COX-2 induced by LPS was significantly down-regulated, and LC3B-II/I was significantly down-regulated, and p62 protein only had up-regulation trend; after addition of NS398, COX-2 and LC3B-II/I was significantly down-regulated.
CONCLUSION: EA may inhibit autophagy in the hippocampus by reducingβ-catenin/COX-2 protein expression and effectively alleviating CPSP.
SIGNIFICANCE: Statement Previous studies have found that EA can reduce the expression of NK-1R in damaged rats by inhibition of COX-2 andβ-catenin loops, which controls the activation of glial cells in the damaged area and the apoptosis of neuronal cells, and alleviated pain. In the male SD rat model, we evaluated this effect that EA inhibits autophagy in the hippocampus by reducing β-catenin/COX-2 protein expression in the brain tissue. In addition, we assessed expression levels of autophagy-related proteins and genes on the inflammatory primary brain cells model. From the experiment, we found EA may inhibit autophagy in the hippocampus by reducing β-catenin/COX-2 protein expression. These findings provide a foundation forthe interpretation of the mechanism of EA on relieving CPSP in clinical practice.