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Papers of the Week

Papers: 14 Jan 2023 - 20 Jan 2023

Animal Studies

2023 Jan 17

Stem Cells

Electroacupuncture ameliorates depression-like behaviors comorbid to chronic neuropathic pain via Tet1-mediated restoration of adult neurogenesis.


Although electroacupuncture (EA) stimulation is a widely used therapy for chronic pain and comorbid psychiatric disorders, its long-term effects on chronic neuropathic pain-induced depression and the underlying mechanisms remain elusive. In the present study, we found that EA stimulation was able to restore adult neurogenesis in the ventral dentate gyrus (DG), by both increasing neuronal differentiation and restoring the normal morphology of newborn dendrites, in mice with spared nerve injury (SNI) surgery. By ablating the Nestin + neural stem cells (NSCs) via DTA expression, we further proved that neurogenesis in the ventral DG was crucial to the long-term, but not the immediate antidepressant effect of EA, nor was it associated with nociception. Furthermore, we found that the restoration of neurogenesis was dependent on Tet1-mediated epigenetic modification upon EA treatment. Tet1 could bind to the promoter of the Prox1 gene, thus catalyzing its demethylation and facilitating its expression, which finally contributed to the restoration of neurogenesis and amelioration of depression-like behaviors induced by chronic neuropathic pain. Thus, we conclude that EA stimulation restores inhibited Tet1 expression in hippocampal NSCs of mice with chronic neuropathic pain, and increased Tet1 expression ameliorates hypermethylation of Prox1 and restores normal adult neurogenesis in the ventral DG, which contributes to the long-term antidepressant effect of EA.