Electroacupuncture intervention can effectively relieve neuropathic pain. - GreenMedInfo Summary
[Electroacupuncture relieved neuropathic pain by suppressing L-Arg/NO/cGMP pathway in the lumbar spinal cord in rats with spared nerve injury].
Zhen Ci Yan Jiu. 2019 Dec 25 ;44(12):893-7. PMID: 31867909
OBJECTIVE: To observe the effect of electroacupuncture (EA) on changes of expression of L-Arg transporter 2 (CAT-2) mRNA and nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) mRNA and protein and contents of NO and cGMP of L-Lsegments of spinal cord in rats with spared nerve injury (SNI), so as to reveal its mechanism underlying reducing neuropathic pain
METHODS: A total of 120 male SD rats were randomly divided into sham operation, model, EA and NOS inhibitor (N omega-Nitro-L-arginine methyl ester hydrochloride, L-NAME) groups, with 30 rats in each group. The neuropathic pain model was established by ligating and cutting the tibial nerve and the common peroneal nerve. EA (2 Hz, 1-3 mA) was applied to"Weizhong"(BL40) and"Huantiao"(GB30)on the damaged hindlimb for 30 min, once daily from day 11 to 17 after SNI. Rats of the L-NAME group received i.p. of L-NAME (60 mg·kg·d) for 7 consecutive days. The mechanical pain threshold (PT) was determined before and 10 and 16 d after SNI, respectively. The expression le-vels of CAT-2 mRNA and iNOS mRNA, and iNOS protein in the L-Lsegments of the spinal cord were detected by using reverse transcription - polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and Western blot, respectively, and the contents of NO and cGMP of L-Lassayed using nitrate/nitrite reductase method and radioimmunoassay, respectively
RESULTS: After modeling, the PT was significantly decreased on day 10 and 16 after SNI in comparison with the sham operation group and their own baseline data of pre-operation in each group (0.01), and remarkably increased in the EA and L-NAME groups relevant to the model group on day 16 (0.01,0.05). Compared with the sham operation group, the expression levels of CAT-2 mRNA and iNOS mRNA and protein, as well as the contents of NO/NOand cGMP were signi-ficantly up-regulated in the model group (0.05,0.01). Following EA intervention, the levels of CAT-2 mRNA and iNOS mRNA and iNOS protein, and NO/NOand cGMP contents were all reversed in both EA and L-NAME groups (0.05,0.01). The effect of EA was significantly superior to that of L-NAME in raising the PT on day 16 after SNI (0.05), but obviously inferior to that of L-NAME in down-regulating the expression of CAT-2 mRNA and iNOS mRNA and protein (0.05). No significant differences were found between the EA and L-NAME groups in down-regulating NO/NOandcGMP contents (0.05).
CONCLUSION: EA intervention can effectively relieve neuropathic pain in SNI rats, which may be closely related to its function in suppressing L-Arg/NO/cGMP pathway in the lumbar spinal cord.