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Oxid Med Cell Longev


Nrf2 Activation Mediates Antiallodynic Effect of Electroacupuncture on a Rat Model of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Type-I through Reducing Local Oxidative Stress and Inflammation.


Li X, Yin C, Hu Q, Wang J, Nie H, Liu B, Tai Y, Fang J, Du J, Shao X, Fang J, Liu B
Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2022; 2022:8035109.
PMID: 35498128.


Complex regional pain syndrome type-I (CRPS-I) represents a type of neurovascular condition featured by severe pain in affected extremities. Few treatments have proven effective for CRPS-I. Electroacupuncture (EA) is an effective therapy for pain relief. We explored the mechanism through which EA ameliorates pain in a rat CRPS-I model. The chronic postischemic pain (CPIP) model was established using Sprague-Dawley rats to mimic CRPS-I. We found that oxidative stress-related biological process was among the predominant biological processes in affected hindpaw of CPIP rats. Oxidative stress occurred primarily in local hindpaw but not in the spinal cord or serum of model rats. Antioxidant N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) attenuated mechanical allodynia and spinal glia overactivation in CPIP model rats, whereas locally increasing oxidative stress is sufficient to induce chronic pain and spinal glia overactivation in naive rats. EA exerted remarkable antiallodynia on CPIP rats by reducing local oxidative stress via enhancing nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) expression. Pharmacological blocking Nrf2 abolished antioxidative and antiallodynic effects of EA. EA reduced spinal glia overactivation, attenuated the upregulation of inflammatory cytokines, reduced the enhanced TRPA1 channel activity in dorsal root ganglion neurons innervating the hindpaws, and improved blood flow dysfunction in hindpaws of CPIP rats, all of which were mimicked by NAC treatment. Thus, we identified local oxidative injury as an important contributor to pathogenesis of animal CRPS-I model. EA targets local oxidative injury by enhancing endogenous Nrf2-mediated antioxidative mechanism to relieve pain and inflammation. Our study indicates EA can be an alternative option for CRPS-I management.