Electroacupuncture attenuates chronic fibromyalgia pain through the phosphorylated phosphoinositide 3-kinase signaling pathway in the mouse brain

Document Type : Original Article


1 Center for General Education, Chung Yuan Christian University, Taoyuan 32023, Taiwan

2 College of Chinese Medicine, School of Chinese Medicine, China Medical University, Taichung 40402, Taiwan

3 College of Chinese Medicine, Graduate Institute of Acupuncture Science, China Medical University, Taichung 40402, Taiwan


Objective(s): Fibromyalgia (FM) is a central nervous system disorder characterized by widespread mechanical hyperalgesia due to unknown mechanisms. Several inflammatory mediators, such as interleukin-1 (IL-1), IL-6, IL-8, and tumor necrosis factor, are increased in the serum of FM patients. Although medications including pregabalin, duloxetine, and milnacipran are used to treat FM, the results are unsatisfying. In the present study we assessed whether electroacupuncture (EA) can reduce chronic FM pain and then proposed an underlying mechanism for this effect.
Materials and Methods: Chronic FM pain was induced in mice by dual acid saline injection lasting up to 4 weeks.
Results: Chronic FM pain was treated by EA manipulation, but not in the sham operated group. Phosphorylated phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (pPI3K), protein kinase B, mechanistic target of rapamycin, and nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells were unaltered in the mouse dorsal root ganglion (DRG) and spinal cord (SC) after inducing FM and administering EA treatment. The pPI3K-associated nociceptive signaling pathway was increased in the thalamus of FM mice, but reversed by EA. Similar results were observed in the mouse somatosensory cortex.
Conclusion: These data suggest that EA has a significant effect on a signaling pathway in brain areas of FM mice. These findings suggest the value of EA for clinical practice.


Main Subjects

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