Points - Recent Research
Electroacupuncture Alleviates Chemotherapy-Induced Pain Through Inhibiting Phosphorylation of Spinal CaMKII in Rats
Acupuncture Alters Pro-Inflammatory Cytokines in the Plasma of Maternally Separated Rat Pups
An Herbal Formula Consisting of Schisandra chinensis (Turcz.) Baill, Lycium chinense Mill and Eucommia ulmoides Oliv Alleviates Disuse Muscle Atrophy in Rats

Electroacupuncture Alleviates Chemotherapy-Induced Pain Through Inhibiting Phosphorylation of Spinal CaMKII in Rats

Zhang Y1, et al.

BACKGROUND: Current medical treatments for chemotherapy-induced pain (CIP) are either ineffective or have adverse side effects. Acupuncture may alleviate CIP, but its effectiveness against this condition has not been studied. Paclitaxel causes neuropathic pain in cancer patients.
METHODS: We evaluated the effects of electroacupuncture (EA) on paclitaxel-induced CIP in a rat model. Paclitaxel (2 mg/kg) or vehicle was injected (i.p.) on alternate days of 0-6. The resulting pain was treated with 10 Hz/2 mA/0.4 ms pulse EA for 30 min at the equivalent of human acupoint GB30 (Huantiao) once every other day between days 14 and 26. For sham control, EA needles were inserted into GB30 without stimulation. Von Frey filaments with bending forces of 2-8 g and 15 g were used to assess mechanical allodynia and hyperalgesia, respectively, on day 13 and once every other day between 14-26 days and then for 2-3 weeks after EA treatment.
RESULTS: Compared to sham control, EA significantly alleviated paclitaxel-induced mechanical allodynia and hyperalgesia, as shown by less frequent withdrawal responses to the filaments. The alleviation of allodynia/hyperalgesia lasted up to 3 weeks after the EA treatment. EA significantly inhibited phosphorylation of Ca2+ /calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) in the spinal cord. KN-93, a selective inhibitor of p-CaMKII, inhibited mechanical allodynia/hyperalgesia and p-CaMKII. 5-HT1A receptor antagonist blocked EA inhibition of allodynia/hyperalgesia and p-CaMKII.
CONCLUSIONS: Electroacupuncture activates 5-HT 1A receptors in the spinal cord and inhibits p-CaMKII to alleviate both allodynia and hyperalgesia. The data support acupuncture/EA as a complementary therapy for CIP.
SIGNIFICANCE: Electroacupuncture (EA) activates spinal 5-HT1A receptors to inhibit p-CaMKII to alleviate paclitaxel-induced pain. Acupuncture/EA may be used as a complementary therapy for CIP.

Eur J Pain. 2017 Oct 16. doi: 10.1002/ejp.1132.

Source: PubMed

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Acupuncture Alters Pro-Inflammatory Cytokines in the Plasma of Maternally Separated Rat Pups

Kim D1, et al.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the potential alleviating effects of acupuncture on maternal separation (MS)-induced changes in plasma pro-inflammatory cytokine levels of rat pups.
METHODS: On postnatal day 15, rat pups were randomly assigned to 4 groups (n=6 per group) using a random number table: normal, MS, MS with acupuncture stimulation at Shenmen (HT 7) acupoint (MS+HT 7), and MS with acupuncture stimulation at Chengshan (BL 57) acupoint (MS+BL 57) groups. Rat pups in the normal group were housed with their mothers under standard conditions; those in the MS, MS+HT 7 and MS+BL 57 groups were maternally separated and individually maintained. Acupuncture stimulation was performed at HT 7 or BL 57 acupoints once a day for 7 consecutive days. A tail suspension test was performed to measure immobility time of rats and the plasma was collected on postnatal day 21, then levels of corticosterone (CORT), interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6 and glial cell-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) in plasma were measured.
RESULTS: Compared with the normal group, the immobility time and the plasma levels of CORT, IL-1β, IL-6 and GDNF in the MS group were significantly increased (P<0.05 or P<0.01). Compared with the MS group, the immobility time and the plasma levels of CORT, IL-1β, IL-6 and GDNF were significantly reduced in the MS+HT 7 group (P<0.05 or P<0.01). Moreover, the immobility time and plasma levels of IL-1β and IL-6 in the MS+HT 7 group were significantly lower than those in the MS+BL 57 group (P<0.05).
CONCLUSION: Acupuncture stimulation at HT 7 can alleviate the behavioral impairment and changes of the cytokines by MS, indicating that acupuncture can help to relieve MS-induced depression.

Chin J Integr Med.2017 Oct 6. doi: 10.1007/s11655-017-2827-8. [Epub ahead of print]

Source: PubMed

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An Herbal Formula Consisting of Schisandra chinensis (Turcz.) Baill, Lycium chinense Mill and Eucommia ulmoides Oliv Alleviates Disuse Muscle Atrophy in Rats

Cho S1, et al.

ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE: Schisandra chinensis (Turcz.) Baill (SC), Lycium chinense Mill (LC) and Eucommia ulmoides Oliv (EU) are representative tonic herbal medicines that help to strengthen body muscles and bones making them stronger according to the Donguibogam, a tradition medical book of the Joseon Dynasty in Korea.
AIM OF STUDY: To evaluate effects of an herbal formula consisting of SC, LC and EU on muscle atrophy in C2C12 myotubes and in a rat model of immobilization-induced muscle atrophy.
METHODS: Muscle atrophy was developed by cast immobilization of unilateral hindlimb on rats for 3 weeks. Treatments were administered orally 14 times over 3 weeks. After treatments, we compared the change of body weight, muscle weight, grip strength, muscle fiber size, muscle fiber type shift by Grip strength meter, H&E stain and ATPase stain. And western blot was used for evaluating molecular mechanism in muscle atrophy on C2C12 cells.
RESULTS: When taken individually, SC was the most effective of the three in inhibiting tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α)-induced degeneration of C2C12 myogenesis. The formulation with a mass ratio of 2:1:1 SC:LC:EU (SSLE) was more effective against TNF-α-induced muscle atrophy than was a 1:1:1 SC:LC:EU formula or any of the single herbal extracts. In a rat model of disuse muscle atrophy, the SSLE formula significantly inhibited reductions in muscle weight, grip strength and muscle fiber size induced by hindlimb immobilization, in a dose-dependent manner. The formula also inhibited immobilization-induced shifting of the muscle fiber type in soleus muscle. Treatment with SSLE inhibited TNF-α-induced expression of the atrogenes atrogin-1 and muscle RING-finger protein 1 in C2C12 cells. The SSLE formula also increased myoblast differentiation markers (myoD and myogenin) and activation of the Akt and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling pathway.
CONCLUSION: These findings suggest that the SSLE formula prevents muscle atrophy through inhibition of the ubiquitin-proteasome system as well as upregulation of myoblast differentiation and muscle protein synthesis in C2C12 cells. Taken together, we conclude that the SSLE formula is invaluable for the development of therapeutic medicines to prevent disuse muscle atrophy and its accompanying muscle weakness.

J Ethnopharmacol. 2017 Oct 16. pii: S0378-8741(16)31773-1. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2017.10.008. [Epub ahead of print]

Source: PubMed

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