P2X7 receptor of rat dorsal root ganglia is involved in the effect of moxibustion on visceral hyperalgesia
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Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease often display visceral hypersensitivity. Visceral nociceptors after inflammatory stimulation generate afferent nerve impulses through dorsal root ganglia (DRG) transmitting to the central nervous system. ATP and its activated-purinergic 2X7 (P2X7) receptor play an important role in the transmission of nociceptive signal. Purinergic signaling is involved in the sensory transmission of visceral pain. Moxibustion is a therapy applying ignited mugwort directly or indirectly at acupuncture points or other specific parts of the body to treat diseases. Heat-sensitive acupoints are the corresponding points extremely sensitive to moxa heat in disease conditions. In this study, we aimed to investigate the relationship between the analgesic effect of moxibustion on a heat-sensitive acupoint “Dachangshu” and the expression levels of P2X7 receptor in rat DRG after chronic inflammatory stimulation of colorectal distension. Heat-sensitive moxibustion at Dachangshu acupoint inhibited the nociceptive signal transmission by decreasing the upregulated expression levels of P2X7 mRNA and protein in DRG induced by visceral pain, and reversed the abnormal expression of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP, a marker of satellite glial cells) in DRG. Consequently, abdominal withdrawal reflex (AWR) score in a visceral pain model was reduced, and the pain threshold was elevated. Therefore, heat-sensitive moxibustion at Dachangshu acupoint can produce a therapeutic effect on IBS via inhibiting the nociceptive transmission mediated by upregulated P2X7 receptor.
KeywordsMoxibustion Dorsal root ganglia Purinergic 2X7 receptor Satellite glial cell Visceral hyperalgesia Colorectal distension
Irritable bowel syndrome
Visceral hyperalgesic model
Abdominal withdrawal reflex
Dorsal root ganglia
Glial fibrillary acidic protein
Satellite glial cells
This work was supported by the grants (Nos: 81171184, 31060139, 30860086, 30860333, 30660048, 81460200, and 81200853) from the National Natural Science Foundation of China, the grants (Nos: 2010BSA09500 and 20111BBG70009-1) from the Technology Pedestal and Society Development Project of Jiangxi Province, the grant (Nos.: 20142BAB205028 and 20142BAB215027) from the Natural Science Foundation of Jiangxi Province, the second batch of Jiangxi province “Gan Po excellence talent 555 project”-leading talent project, the grant (No: 2009CB522902) from National Basic Research Program of China, and the grants (No: GJJ13155 and GJJ14319) from the Educational Department of Jiangxi Province. GL’s research was supported by the NMRC of Singapore (NMRC/CIRG/1334/2012).
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that there are no conflict of interest.
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