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Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2016;2016:3174608. doi: 10.1155/2016/3174608. Epub 2016 Apr 20.

Study on the Mechanism Underlying the Regulation of the NMDA Receptor Pathway in Spinal Dorsal Horns of Visceral Hypersensitivity Rats by Moxibustion.

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Key Laboratory of Acupuncture and Immunological Effects, Shanghai Research Institute of Acupuncture and Meridian, 650 South Wanping Road, Shanghai 200030, China.
Shanghai TCM-Integrated Hospital, Shanghai University of TCM, Shanghai 200082, China.


Visceral hypersensitivity is enhanced in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) patients. Treatment of IBS visceral pain by moxibustion methods has a long history and rich clinical experience. In the clinic, moxibustion on the Tianshu (ST25) and Shangjuxu (ST37) acupoints can effectively treat bowel disease with visceral pain and diarrhea symptoms. To investigate the regulatory function of moxibustion on the Tianshu (ST25) and Shangjuxu (ST37) acupoints on spinal cord NR1, NR2B, and PKCε protein and mRNA expression in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) visceral hypersensitivity rats, we did some research. In the study, we found that moxibustion effectively relieved the IBS visceral hyperalgesia status of rats. Analgesic effect of moxibustion was similar to intrathecal injection of Ro 25-6981. The expression of NR1, NR2B, and PKCε in the spinal dorsal horns of IBS visceral hyperalgesia rats increased. Moxibustion on the Tianshu and Shangjuxu acupoints might inhibit the visceral hypersensitivity, simultaneously decreasing the expression of NR1, NR2B, and PKCε in spinal cord of IBS visceral hyperalgesia rats. Based on the above experimental results, we hypothesized NR1, NR2B, and PKCε of spinal cord could play an important role in moxibustion inhibiting the process of central sensitization and visceral hyperalgesia state.

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