Evidence for Suppression of Electroacupuncture on Spinal Glial Activation and Behavioral Hypersensitivity in a Rat Model of Monoarthritis

Brain Res Bull. 2008 Jan 31;75(1):83-93. doi: 10.1016/j.brainresbull.2007.07.027. Epub 2007 Aug 22.


Our previous study demonstrated that single intrathecal (i.t.) application of fluorocitrate, a glial metabolic inhibitor, synergized electroacupuncture (EA) antagonizing behavioral hypersensitivity in complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA)-induced monoarthritic rat. To further investigate the relationship between spinal glial activation and EA analgesia, the present study examined the effects of multiple EA on spinal glial activation evoked by monoarthritis (MA). The results showed that (1) unilateral intra-articular injection of CFA produced a robust glial activation on the spinal cord, which was associated with the development and maintenance of behavioral hypersensitivity; (2) multiple EA stimulation of ipsilateral "Huantiao" (GB30) and "Yanglingquan" (GB34) acupoints or i.t. injection of fluorocitrate (1 nmol) significantly suppressed spinal glial activation; (3) inhibitory effects of EA on spinal glial activation and behavioral hypersensitivity were significantly enhanced when EA combined with fluorocitrate, indicating that disruption of glial function may potentiate EA analgesia in inflammatory pain states. These data suggested that analgesic effects of EA might be associated with its counter-regulation to spinal glial activation, and thereby provide a potential strategy for the treatment of arthritis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acupuncture Points
  • Animals
  • Arthritis, Experimental / chemically induced
  • Arthritis, Experimental / complications
  • Arthritis, Experimental / pathology*
  • Arthritis, Experimental / therapy
  • Behavior, Animal
  • Behavioral Symptoms / etiology
  • Behavioral Symptoms / therapy*
  • CD11b Antigen / metabolism
  • Citrates / therapeutic use
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Electroacupuncture / methods*
  • Freund's Adjuvant / adverse effects
  • Functional Laterality
  • Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein / metabolism
  • Male
  • Neuroglia / physiology*
  • Neuroglia / radiation effects
  • Pain Measurement
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Spinal Cord / pathology*
  • Time Factors


  • CD11b Antigen
  • Citrates
  • Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein
  • fluorocitrate
  • Freund's Adjuvant