Changes in cytokine expression after electroacupuncture in neuropathic rats.
Myeoung Hoon Cha ; Taick Sang Nam ; Bae Hwan Lee ; Hyejung Lee ; Yongho Kwak
Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Vol.2012 : 792765, 2012
Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
The production of proinflammatory cytokines including interleukin-1 (IL-1), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) plays a key role in chronic pain such as neuropathic pain. We investigated changes in cytokine expression in injured peripheral nerves and dorsal root ganglia (DRG) following electroacupuncture (EA) treatment. Neuropathic pain was induced by peripheral nerve injury to the left hind limb of Sprague-Dawley rats under pentobarbital anesthesia. Two weeks later, the nerve-injured rats were treated by EA for 10 minutes. The expression levels of IL-1β, IL-6, and TNF-α in peripheral nerves and DRG of neuropathic rats were significantly increased in nerve-injured rats. However, after EA, the cytokine expression levels were noticeably decreased in peripheral nerves and DRG. These results suggest that EA stimulation can reduce the levels of proinflamtory cytokines elevated after nerve injury.