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Brain Res Bull. 2018 Nov 17. pii: S0361-9230(18)30576-8. doi: 10.1016/j.brainresbull.2018.10.015. [Epub ahead of print]

P2X receptors and acupuncture analgesia.

Author information

1
Medical & Nursing School, Chengdu University, 610106 Chengdu, China; Acupuncture and Tuina School, Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, 610075 Chengdu, China. Electronic address: tangyong@cdutcm.edu.cn.
2
Acupuncture and Tuina School, Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, 610075 Chengdu, China.
3
Rudolf-Boehm-Institut für Pharmakologie und Toxikologie, Universität Leipzig, 04107 Leipzig, Germany.
4
Rudolf-Boehm-Institut für Pharmakologie und Toxikologie, Universität Leipzig, 04107 Leipzig, Germany; Acupuncture and Tuina School, Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, 610075 Chengdu, China. Electronic address: Peter.Illes@medizin.uni-leipzig.de.

Abstract

Purinergic signaling has recently been suggested to constitute the cellular mechanism underlying acupuncture-induced analgesia (AA). By extending the original hypothesis on endogenous opioids being released during AA, Geoffrey Burnstock and Maiken Nedergaard supplied evidence for the involvement of purinoceptors (P2 and P1/A1 receptors) in the beneficial effects of AA. In view of certain pain states (e.g. neuropathic pain) which respond only poorly to therapy with standard analgesics, as well as with respect to the numerous unwanted effects of opioids and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, it is of great significance to search for alternative therapeutic options. Because clinical studies on AA yielded sometimes heterogeneous results, it is of eminent importance to relay on experiments carried out on laboratory animals, by evaluating the data with stringent statistical methods including comparison with a sufficient number of control groups. In this review, we summarize the state of the art situation with respect to the participation of P2 receptors in AA and try to forecast how the field is likely to move forward in the future.

KEYWORDS:

ATP; Acupuncture analgesia; P2X receptors; Purinergic signaling

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