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J Exerc Rehabil. 2018 Dec 27;14(6):927-933. doi: 10.12965/jer.1836594.297. eCollection 2018 Dec.

Low-frequency electroacupncture improves locomotor function after sciatic crushed nerve injury in rats.

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Department of Physiology, College of Medicine, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Korea.
Department of Sport & Health Science, College of Natural Science, Sangmyung University, Seoul, Korea.
Department of Adaptive Physical Education, Baekseok University, Cheonan, Korea.
Department of Emergency Technology, College of Health Science, Gachon University, Incheon, Korea.
Department of Urology, Chungnam National University Hospital, Chungnam National University College of Medicine, Daejeon, Korea.


Sciatic crushed nerve injury (SCI) causes pain-related gait and swelling in the affected limb. Electroacupuncture (EA) is a modified acupuncture technique, and analgesic effect of EA on different types of pain has been documented. Scientific functional index (SFI) is a mathematical formula to represent parameters of normal and experimental footprints. We investigated the effect of low-frequency EA on functional recovery following SCI in rats. For this study, immunohistochemistry for c-Fos in the ventral lateral periaqueductal gray (vlPAG) and paraventricular nucleus (PVN) and western blot for neurofilament (NF) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in the sciatic nerve were conducted. To induce crush injury on the sciatic nerve, sciatic nerve was crushed for 30 sec using a surgical clip. The rats in the acupuncture groups received acupuncture bilaterally at respective site, once a day for 14 days. The rats in the EA group received 100-Hz electrical stimulation for 10 min once a day during 14 days. SCI decreased SFI value, in contrast, EA increased SFI value. c-Fos expression in the vlPAG and PVN was increased following SCI, in contrast, EA suppressed c-Fos expression. NF expression in the sciatic nerve was decreased by SCI, in contrast, EA increased NF expression. BDNF expression in the sciatic nerve was increased by SCI, in contrast, EA suppressed BDNF expression. In the present study, EA showed effectiveness on functional recovery from SCI.


Brain-derived neurotrophic factor; Electroacupuncture; Neurofilament; Scientific functional index; c-Fos

Conflict of interest statement

CONFLICT OF INTEREST No potential conflict of interest relevant to this article was reported.

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