Electroacupuncture inhibits cyclooxygenase-2 up-regulation in rat spinal cord after spinal nerve ligation
Neuropathic pain, COX-2, Electroacupuncture, Spinal dorsal horn
Electroacupuncture (EA) has long been used to treat pain including neuropathic pain, but its mechanisms remain to be delineated. Since cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) has been reported to increase in the spinal dorsal horn following spinal nerve ligation (SNL) and it may play a role in the neuropathic pain, we hereby tested the hypothesis that EA may affect COX-2 expression and hence neuropathic nociception after SNL. The results showed that EA (2 Hz) can significantly reduce mechanical and thermal hypersensitivity following lumbar L5 SNL in rats. Immunostaining demonstrated suppression of COX-2 expression in the spinal L4–L6 dorsal horn after EA. The present results suggest that EA may alleviate neuropathic hypersensitivity by, at least partially, inhibiting COX-2 expression in the spinal cord.
Lau, W.,Chan, W.,Zhang, J.,Yung, K.,& Zhang, H. (2008). Electroacupuncture inhibits cyclooxygenase-2 up-regulation in rat spinal cord after spinal nerve ligation. Neuroscience, 155 (2), 463-468. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroscience.2008.06.016