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Brain Res Bull. 2006 Mar 15;69(1):30-6. Epub 2005 Nov 28.

Down-regulation of GFRalpha-1 expression by antisense oligodeoxynucleotide attenuates electroacupuncture analgesia on heat hyperalgesia in a rat model of neuropathic pain.

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Department of Integrative Medicine and Neurobiology, Institute of Acupuncture Research, Shanghai Medical College, Fudan University, 138 Yi Xue Yuan Road, Shanghai 200032, China.


Glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) has been proved to play an important role in the modulation of nociceptive transmission especially during neuropathic pain. It was reported that electroacupuncture (EA) had potent analgesic effect on neuropathic pain and our previous studies indicated that EA could activate endogenous GDNF signaling system (GDNF and its receptor GFRalpha-1) in dorsal root ganglions (DRGs) of neuropathic pain rats. In order to investigate whether GDNF signaling system was involved in EA analgesia on neuropathic pain, which was induced by chronic constriction injury (CCI) of the sciatic nerve in rats, antisense oligodeoxynucleotide (ODN) specifically against GFRalpha-1 was used in the present study to result in down-regulation of GFRalpha-1 expression. The results showed that: (1) cumulative EA had potent analgesic effect on neuropathic pain in rats; (2) the expression of GFRalpha-1 in DRGs was down-regulated by intrathecal delivery of antisense ODN, but not by normal saline (NS) or mismatch ODN; (3) EA analgesia was significantly attenuated by antisense ODN treatment. The present study demonstrated that endogenous GDNF signaling system was involved in EA analgesia on neuropathic pain in rats, which would deepen our realization of the mechanism of EA analgesia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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