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Papers of the Week

Papers: 25 May 2024 - 31 May 2024

2024 May 29

Biol Res




Electroacupuncture attenuates neuropathic pain via suppressing BIP-IRE-1α-mediated endoplasmic reticulum stress in the anterior cingulate cortex.


Ma LW, Liu YF, Zhang H, Huang CJ, Li A, Qu XZ, Lin JP, Yang Y, Yao YX


Studies have suggested that endoplasmic reticulum stress (ERS) is involved in neurological dysfunction and that electroacupuncture (EA) attenuates neuropathic pain (NP) via undefined pathways. However, the role of ERS in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) in NP and the effect of EA on ERS in the ACC have not yet been investigated. In this study, an NP model was established by chronic constriction injury (CCI) of the left sciatic nerve in rats, and mechanical and cold tests were used to evaluate behavioral hyperalgesia. The protein expression and distribution were evaluated using western blotting and immunofluorescence. The results showed that glucose-regulated protein 78 (BIP) and inositol-requiring enzyme 1α (IRE-1α) were co-localized in neurons in the ACC. After CCI, BIP, IRE-1α, and phosphorylation of IRE-1α were upregulated in the ACC. Intra-ACC administration of 4-PBA and Kira-6 attenuated pain hypersensitivity and downregulated phosphorylation of IRE-1α, while intraperitoneal injection of 4-PBA attenuated hyperalgesia and inhibited the activation of P38 and JNK in ACC. In contrast, ERS activation by intraperitoneal injection of tunicamycin induced behavioral hyperalgesia in naive rats. Furthermore, EA attenuated pain hypersensitivity and inhibited the CCI-induced overexpression of BIP and pIRE-1α. Taken together, these results demonstrate that EA attenuates NP by suppressing BIP- and IRE-1α-mediated ERS in the ACC. Our study presents novel evidence that ERS in the ACC is implicated in the development of NP and provides insights into the molecular mechanisms involved in the analgesic effect of EA.