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Papers of the Week

Papers: 10 Jun 2023 - 16 Jun 2023

Basic Science

Animal Studies, Neurobiology, Neuromodulation

Inflammation/Inflammatory, Neuropathic Pain, Psychological/Comorbidities

2023 Jun 14

J Neurosci Res


Transcranial direct current stimulation alleviates nociceptive behavior in male rats with neuropathic pain by regulating oxidative stress and reducing neuroinflammation.


Akcay G, Nemutlu Samur D, Derin N


Transcranial direct curent stimulation (tDCS) and trans-spinal direct current stimulation (tsDCS) are promising therapies for pain that can alter the excitability of neuronal activity in cerebral cortex. The aim of the study is to investigate the therapeutic effects of direct current stimulation (DCS) over the spinal cord and cerebral cortex on oxidative stress and neuroinflammation in rats with chronic constriction injury (CCI). Male Wistar rats were randomly divided into four experimental groups: Sham, CCI, CCI + tDCS and CCI + tsDCS. The neuropathic pain model was induced by using the CCI model. Rats with neuropathy were treated with cathodal tDCS and tsDCS stimulations consisting of 0.5 mA for 30 min a day for 7 days from day 8 onwards. Locomotor activity was measured by open-field test and nociceptive behavior was assessed by hot-plate, tail-flick and Randall-Selitto tests. Following the behavioral experiments, total oxidant capacity (TOC), total antioxidant capacity (TAC) and proinflammatory cytokine levels were evaluated in spinal cord and cerebral cortex tissues. The CCI model induced significant mechanical and thermal hyperalgesia. Nociceptive behaviors in rats with CCI were reversed by DCS treatment. Higher TOC and lower TAC levels were detected in the spinal cord and cerebral cortex tissues of the CCI rats compared to the control. tsDCS treatment amended oxidant/antioxidant status. Moreover, tsDCS modulated the central levels of Tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interleukin 1-beta (IL-1β), IL-6 and IL-18. tsDCS stimulation showed better therapeutic effect on neuropathic pain by regulating oxidant/antioxidant levels and reducing neuroinflammation. DCS, especially at spinal level, may be a promising therapeutic strategy that can be used alone or in combination with other effective treatments for alleviating neuropathic pain.