Correlation between the cumulative analgesic effect of electroacupuncture intervention and synaptic plasticity of hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus neurons in rats with sciatica
【摘要】：In the present study, a rat model of chronic neuropathic pain was established by ligation of the sciatic nerve and a model of learning and memory impairment was established by ovariectomy to investigate the analgesic effect of repeated electroacupuncture stimulation at bilateral Zusanli (ST36) and Yanglingquan (GB34). In addition, associated synaptic changes in neurons in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus were examined. Results indicate that the thermal pain threshold (paw withdrawal latency) was significantly increased in rats subjected to 2-week electroacupuncture intervention compared with 2-day electroacupuncture, but the analgesic effect was weakened remarkably in ovariectomized rats with chronic constrictive injury. 2-week electroacupuncture intervention substantially reversed the chronic constrictive injury-induced increase in the synaptic cleft width and thinning of the postsynaptic density. These findings indicate that repeated electroacupuncture at bilateral Zusanli and Yanglingquan has a cumulative analgesic effect and can effectively relieve chronic neuropathic pain by remodeling the synaptic structure of the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus.