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Papers of the Week

Papers: 29 Jun 2024 - 5 Jul 2024

2024 Jun 29

Transl Res


Fu’s subcutaneous needling promotes axonal regeneration and remyelination by inhibiting inflammation and endoplasmic reticulum stress.


Chiu PE, Fu Z, Tsai YC, Tsai CY, Hsu WJ, Chou LW, Lai DW


Fu’s subcutaneous needling (FSN) is a traditional Chinese acupuncture procedure used to treat pain-related neurological disorders. Moreover, the regulation of inflammatory cytokines may provide a favorable environment for peripheral nerve regeneration. In light of this, FSN may be an important novel therapeutic strategy to alleviate pain associated with peripheral neuropathy; however, the underlying molecular mechanisms remain unclear. This study revealed that patients who had osteoarthritis with peripheral neuropathic pain significantly recovered after 1 to 2 weeks of FSN treatment according to the visual analog scale, Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index, Lequesne index, walking speed, and passive range of motion. Similarly, we demonstrated that FSN treatment in an animal model of chronic constriction injury (CCI) significantly improved sciatic nerve pain using paw withdrawal thresholds, sciatic functional index scores, and compound muscle action potential amplitude tests. In addition, transmission electron microscopy images of sciatic nerve tissue showed that FSN effectively reduced axonal swelling, abnormal myelin sheaths, and the number of organelle vacuoles in CCI-induced animals. Mechanistically, RNA sequencing and gene set enrichment analysis revealed significantly reduced inflammatory pathways, neurotransmitters, and endoplasmic reticulum stress pathways and increased nerve regeneration factors in the FSN+CCI group, compared with that in the CCI group. Finally, immunohistochemistry, immunoblotting and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay showed similar results in the dorsal root ganglia and sciatic nerve. Our findings suggest that FSN can effectively ameliorate peripheral neuropathic pain by regulate inflammation and endoplasmic reticulum stress, thereby determine its beneficial application in patients with peripheral nerve injuries.