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Neurochemical research

L-364,718 potentiates electroacupuncture analgesia through cck-a receptor of pain-related neurons in the nucleus parafascicularis.


PMID 20953702

Abstract

Electroacupuncture (EA) has been successfully used to alleviate pain produced by various noxious stimulus. Cholecystokinin-8 (CCK-8) is a neuropeptide involved in the mediation of pain. We have previously shown that CCK-8 could antagonize the analgesic effects of EA on pain-excited neurons (PENs) and pain-inhibited neurons (PINs) in the nucleus parafascicularis (nPf). However, its mechanism of action is not clear. In the present study, we applied behavioral and neuroelectrophysiological methods to determine whether the mechanisms of CCK-8 antagonism to EA analgesia are mediated through the CCK-A receptors of PENs and PINs in the nPf of rats. We found that focusing radiant heat on the tail of rats caused a simultaneous increase in the evoked discharge of PENs or a decrease in the evoked discharge of PINs in the nPf and the tail-flick reflex. This showed that radiant heat could induce pain. EA stimulation at the bilateral ST 36 acupoints in rats for 15 min resulted in an inhibition of the electrical activity of PEN, potentiation of the electrical activity of PIN, and prolongation in tail-flick latency (TFL), i.e. EA stimulation produced an analgesic effect. The analgesic effect of EA was antagonized when CCK-8 was injected into the intracerebral ventricle of rats. The antagonistic effect of CCK-8 on EA analgesia was reversed by an injection of CCK-A receptor antagonist L-364,718 (100 ng/μl) into the nPf of rats. Our results suggest that the pain-related neurons in the nPf have an important role in mediating EA analgesia. L-364,718 potentiates EA analgesia through the CCK-A receptor of PENs and PINs in the nPf.

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