I am a
Home I AM A Search Login

Papers of the Week

Papers: 16 Mar 2024 - 22 Mar 2024

2024 Apr

J Cell Mol Med




Electroacupuncture suppresses neuronal ferroptosis to relieve chronic neuropathic pain.


Xue C, Kui W, Huang A, Li Y, Li L, Gu Z, Xie L, Kong S, Yu J, Ruan H, Wang K


Growing evidence supports the analgesic efficacy of electroacupuncture (EA) in managing chronic neuropathic pain (NP) in both patients and NP models induced by peripheral nerve injury. However, the underlying mechanisms remain incompletely understood. Ferroptosis, a novel form of programmed cell death, has been found to be activated during NP development, while EA has shown potential in promoting neurological recovery following acute cerebral injury by targeting ferroptosis. In this study, to investigate the detailed mechanism underlying EA intervention on NP, male Sprague-Dawley rats with chronic constriction injury (CCI)-induced NP model received EA treatment at acupoints ST36 and GV20 for 14 days. Results demonstrated that EA effectively attenuated CCI-induced pain hypersensitivity and mitigated neuron damage and loss in the spinal cord of NP rats. Moreover, EA reversed the oxidative stress-mediated spinal ferroptosis phenotype by upregulating reduced expression of xCT, glutathione peroxidase 4 (GPX4), ferritin heavy chain (FTH1) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) levels, and downregulating increased expression of acyl-CoA synthetase long-chain family member 4 (ACSL4), malondialdehyde levels and iron overload. Furthermore, EA increased the immunofluorescence co-staining of GPX4 in neurons cells of the spinal cord of CCI rats. Mechanistic analysis unveiled that the inhibition of antioxidant pathway of Nrf2 signalling via its specific inhibitor, ML385, significantly countered EA’s protective effect against neuronal ferroptosis in NP rats while marginally diminishing its analgesic effect. These findings suggest that EA treatment at acupoints ST36 and GV20 may protect against NP by inhibiting neuronal ferroptosis in the spinal cord, partially through the activation of Nrf2 signalling.