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Papers of the Week

Papers: 4 Feb 2023 - 10 Feb 2023

Basic Science

Animal Studies, Molecular/Cellular, Neuromodulation


2023 Feb 08

Mol Neurobiol


Electroacupuncture Alleviates CFA-Induced Inflammatory Pain via PD-L1/PD-1-SHP-1 Pathway.


Deng D, Xu F, Ma L, Zhang T, Wang Y, Huang S, Zhao W, Chen X


Inflammatory pain is difficult to treat clinically, but electroacupuncture (EA) has been demonstrated to be effective in alleviating inflammatory pain. Programmed cell death ligand-1 (PD-L1) and its downstream signal, Src homology region two domain-containing phosphatase-1 (SHP-1) have a critical role in relieving inflammatory pain. However, whether the PD-L1/PD-1-SHP-1 pathway mediates the analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects of EA in inflammatory pain remains unclear. Here, we observed that EA reversed the complete Freund’s adjuvant (CFA)-induced hyperalgesia. EA reduced the expression of IL-6, iNOS, and NF-κB pathway in dorsal root ganglia (DRG) on day 7 after CFA injection but had no effect on the expression of IL-6, iNOS, and NF-κB PP65 on day 21 after CFA injection. Moreover, EA upregulated the protein levels of the PD-L1/PD-1-SHP-1 pathway on day 7 and day 21 after CFA injection. Furthermore, EA upregulated PD-L1 expression in calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) but not in isohaemagglutinin B4 (IB4) and NF200 neurons on day 7 and day 21 after CFA injection. Intrathecal injection of the PD-L1/PD-1 inhibitor BMS-1 (50 or 100 µg) blocked the EA-induced analgesic effect, significantly increased IL-6 and iNOS levels, and reduced the levels of PD-L1/PD-1-SHP-1. BMS-1 (50 or 100 µg) significantly reduced the expression of PD-L1 in IB4, CGRP, and NF200 neurons. Our results show that EA’s anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects are associated with activating the PD-L1/PD-1-SHP-1 pathway and suppressing its regulated neuroinflammation. This study provides a new potential therapeutic target for treating inflammatory pain.