[Effects of Electroacupuncture on Activities of Satellite Glial Cells of Dorsal Root Ganglia in Rats with Neck Incision Pain].Zhen Ci Yan Jiu. 2017 Aug 25; 42(4):283-9.ZC
To observe the effect of electroacupuncture (EA) stimulation of "Futu"(LI 18), etc. on activities of satellite glial cells (SGCs) in the dorsal root ganglia (DRG) in rats with neck-incision pain so as to explore its mechanism underlying reduction of post-surgical pain of thyroidectomy.
Male SD rats were randomly divided into control, model, EA-Futu (LI 18), EA-Hegu (LI 4)-Neiguan (PC 6), and EA-Zusanli (ST 36)-Yanglingquan (GB 34) groups, with 20 rats in each group. The neck-incision pain model was established by making a longitudinal incision and repeated mechanical stimulation. In the EA-LI 18, EA-LI 4-PC 6 and EA-ST 36-GB 34 groups, EA stimulation was administrated for 30 min, once a day,continuously for 3 days. The thermal pain threshold (PT) of the neck-incision region was detected. The immunoactivity of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP,a specific marker for SGCs) and connexin 43 (Cx 43) of DRGs (C 2-C 6) was determined by fluorescent immunohistochemistry. The expression levels of GFAP, IL-1 β, IL-6, and TNF-α mRNAs were determined by quantitative Real-time PCR, and the contents of IL-1 β,IL-6,TNF-α assayed by enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and the expression of Cx 43 protein was detected by Western blot.
After EA intervention at LI 18 and LI 4-PC 6 (but not ST 36-GB 34), neck incision-induced reduction of the thermal PT was obviously prolonged in comparison with the model group (P<0.05),suggesting a pain relief. The expression levels of GFAP, IL-1 β, IL-6 and TNF-α mRNAs and Cx 43 protein, and the contents of IL-1 β, IL-6 and TNF-α in C 2-C 6 DRGs were all significantly up-regulated in the model group relevant to those of the control group (P<0.05). Following EA, modeling induced dramatic increase of expression of GFAP, IL-1 β, IL-6 and TNF-α mRNAs and Cx 43 protein in both EA-LI 18 and EA-LI 4-PC 6 groups, and the contents of IL-1 β and TNF-α in the EA-LI 18 group, IL-6 in the EA-LI 4-PC 6 group was considerably down-regulated (P<0.05). In comparison with the model group, no significant changes were found in all the abovementioned indexes of EA-ST 36 -GB 34 group except the down-regulated IL-1 β and TNF-α mRNAs, in the contents of IL-1 β and TNF-α of the EA-LI 4-PC 6 group, and in the IL-6 content of the EA-LI 18 group (P>0.05).
EA stimulation of LI 18 and LI 4-PC 6 can significantly suppress pain reaction of neck incision in the rat, which is closely associated with its effects in down-regulating the activity of SGCs, decreasing the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines and in weakening the expression of Cx 43 in the cervical DRGs.