Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine ›› 2019, Vol. 39 ›› Issue (05): 740-749.DOI: 10.19852/j.cnki.jtcm.2019.05.017

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Mechanism of electroacupuncture on inflammatory pain: neural-immune-endocrine interactions

Li Yuan, Yang Mingxiao, Wu Fan, Cheng Ke, Chen Haiyong, Shen Xueyong, Lao Lixing   

  1. School of Acupuncture Moxibustion and Tuina, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine;School of Chinese Medicine, The University of Hong Kong;
  • Online:2019-10-15 Published:2019-10-15
  • Supported by:
    Supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China(No.81320108028,Efficacy and Neurobiological Mechanisms of Traditional Moxibustion-based Laser Moxibustion with Specific Wavelength on Inflammatory Pain), the Three-Year Development Plan Project for Traditional Chinese Medicine of Shanghai Municipal Health Commission[ZY(2018-2020)-CCCX-2001-05], the National Basic Research Program of China(973 Program,No.2015CB554505), Shanghai Key Laboratory of acupuncture mechanism and acupoint function(No.14DZ2260500), Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine budget research project(No.18LK010), Li Yuan's postgraduate innovation ability project(No.A1-N192050102040105)

Abstract: Nociceptive signals are transmitted by peripheral afferents to the central nervous system under pain condition, a process that involves various neurotransmitters and pathways.Electroacupuncture(EA) has been widely used as a pain management technique in clinical practice.Emerging studies have shown that EA can inhibit the induction and transmission of pain signals and, consequently, mediate anti-nociceptive and anti-inflammatory effects by rebalancing the neural-immune-endocrine interactions.This review summarizes the neural-immune-endocrine circuit including peripheral afferent and central efferent, contributing to EA-induced neuroimmune and neuroendocrine modulation in inflammatory pain models.The peripheral afferent circuit includes crosstalk among immune cells, inflammatory cytokines, peripheral nociceptors.In central efferent primarily involves the neuroinflammatory interactions between spinal nociceptive neurons and glial cells.Furthermore, the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, sympathetic and vagal nervous may serve as an essential pathway involved in the mechanism of acupuncture-mediated analgesia within the interactions of the central, immune and endocrine systems.Overall, this review focuses on the interactions of neural-immune-endocrine in inflammatory pain, which may be underlying the mechanism of EA-induced anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive effect.

Key words: Electroacupuncture, Analgesia, Inflammatory pain, Neural-immune-endocrine interactions, Review

Cite this article

Li Yuan, Yang Mingxiao, Wu Fan, Cheng Ke, Chen Haiyong, Shen Xueyong, Lao Lixing. Mechanism of electroacupuncture on inflammatory pain: neural-immune-endocrine interactions[J]. Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine, 2019, 39(05): 740-749.