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Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012;2012:671386. doi: 10.1155/2012/671386. Epub 2012 Dec 20.

Effects of different electroacupuncture scheduling regimens on murine bone tumor-induced hyperalgesia: sex differences and role of inflammation.

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Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN 55108, USA.


Previous studies have shown that electroacupuncture (EA) is able to reduce hyperalgesia in rodent models of persistent pain, but very little is known about the analgesic effects and potential sex differences of different EA treatment regimens. In the present study, we examined the effects of five different EA treatments on tumor-induced hyperalgesia in male and female mice. EA applied to the ST-36 acupoint either twice weekly (EA-2X/3) beginning on postimplantation day (PID) 3 or prophylactically three times prior to implantation produced the most robust and longest lasting antinociceptive effects. EA treatment given once per week beginning at PID 7 only produced an antinociceptive effect in female animals. The analgesic effect of EA-2X/3 began earlier in males, but lasted longer in females indicating sex differences in EA. We further demonstrate that EA-2X/3 elicits a marked decrease in tumor-associated inflammation as evidenced by a significant reduction in tumor-associated neutrophils at PID 7. Moreover, EA-2X/3 produced a significant reduction in tumor-associated PGE(2) as measured in microperfusate samples. Collectively, these data provide evidence that EA-2X/3 treatment reduces tumor-induced hyperalgesia, which is associated with a decrease in tumor-associated inflammation and PGE(2) concentration at the tumor site suggesting possible mechanisms by which EA reduces tumor nociception.

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