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Papers of the Week

Papers: 11 May 2024 - 17 May 2024

2024 May 15

Mol Brain




Moxibustion ameliorates chronic inflammatory visceral pain via spinal circRNA-miRNA-mRNA networks: a central mechanism study.


Zhang D, Dong X, Li X, Yang Y, Li H, Hong Y, Yang G, Kong X, Wang X, Ma X


This study aimed to unveil the central mechanism of moxibustion treating chronic inflammatory visceral pain (CIVP) from the angle of circRNA-miRNA-mRNA networks in the spinal cord. The rat CIVP model was established using a mixture of 5% (w/v) 2,4,6-trinitrobenzene sulfonic acid and 50% ethanol at a volume ratio of 2:1 via enema. Rats in the moxibustion group received herb-partitioned moxibustion at Tianshu (ST25, bilateral) and Qihai (CV6) points. The abdominal withdrawal reflex (AWR), mechanical withdrawal threshold (MWT), and thermal withdrawal latency (TWL) were adopted for pain behavior observation and pain sensitivity assessment. The circRNA, miRNA, and mRNA expression profiles were detected using the high-throughput sequencing technique. Relevant databases and bioinformatics analysis methods were used to screen for differentially expressed (DE) RNAs and build a circRNA-miRNA-mRNA (competing endogenous RNA) ceRNA regulatory network. The real-time quantitative PCR was employed to verify the sequencing result. CIVP rat models had a significantly higher AWR and lower TWL and MWT than normal rats. Between normal and model rats, there were 103 DE-circRNAs, 16 DE-miRNAs, and 397 DE-mRNAs in the spinal cord. Compared with the model group, the moxibustion group had a lower AWR and higher TWL and MWT; between these two groups, there were 118 DE-circRNAs, 15 DE-miRNAs, and 804 DE-mRNAs in the spinal cord. Two ceRNA networks were chosen to be verified. As a result, moxibustion’s analgesic effect on visceral pain in CIVP rats may be associated with regulating the circRNA_02767/rno-miR-483-3p/Gfap network in the spinal cord and improving central sensitization.