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Prophylactic Electroacupuncture on the Upper Cervical Segments Decreases Neuronal Discharges of the Trigeminocervical Complex in Migraine-Affected Rats: An in vivo Extracellular Electrophysiological Experiment

Authors Qu Z, Liu L, Zhao L, Xu X, Li Z, Zhu Y, Zhang C, Jing X, Wang X, Li B, Zhang CS, Fisher M, Wang L

Received 12 August 2019

Accepted for publication 24 December 2019

Published 10 January 2020 Volume 2020:13 Pages 25—37

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/JPR.S226922

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Michael A Überall


Zhengyang Qu, 1 Lu Liu, 1, 2 Luopeng Zhao, 1, 3 Xiaobai Xu, 1 Zhijuan Li, 1 Yupu Zhu, 1 Chen Zhang, 4 Xianghong Jing, 2 Xiaoyu Wang, 2 Bin Li, 1 Claire Suiqing Zhang, 5 Marc Fisher, 6 Linpeng Wang 1

1Acupuncture and Moxibustion Department, Beijing Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Capital Medical University, Beijing Key Laboratory of Acupuncture Neuromodulation, Beijing, People’s Republic of China; 2Institute of Acupuncture and Moxibustion, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing, People’s Republic of China; 3Beijing Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Capital Medical University, Beijing Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Beijing, People’s Republic of China; 4Acupuncture and Moxibustion Department, Beijing Massage Hospital, Beijing, People’s Republic of China; 5School of Health and Biomedical Sciences, RMIT University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia; 6Division of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases, Department of Neurology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA, USA

Correspondence: Linpeng Wang
Acupuncture and Moxibustion Department, Beijing Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Capital Medical University, Beijing Key Laboratory of Acupuncture Neuromodulation, No. 23 Meishuguanhou Street, Dongcheng District, Beijing 100010, People’s Republic of China
Tel +86 1052176644
Email wlp5558@sina.com

Purpose: This rat experiment aims to demonstrate the efficacy of electrical acupuncture in preventing migraine attacks by stimulating the acupoint GB20.
Introduction: Migraine, which takes 2ed at level four causes of GBD’s disease hierarchy, becomes a public health issue. It is important for physicians to supplement their knowledge of its treatment and consider alternative methods of therapy, such as acupuncture. However, the neurobiological and pathophysiological mechanisms of this prophylactic effect were unclear. The trigeminocervical complex is thought to be an important relay station in migraine pathophysiology as the key nuclei of the trigeminovascular system and the brainstem descending pain modulation system.
Methods: There were six groups involved in this study: control, model, electroacupuncture, non-acupoint electroacupuncture, saline+electroacupuncture and saline+non-acupoint electroacupuncture. We injected saline or inflammatory soup into dura mater to induce control or migraine in the rats. The mechanical pain threshold and the single-cell extraneural neurophysiology of the C1 spinal dorsal horn neurons in the trigeminocervical complex were detected.
Results: Pre-electroacupuncture could significantly increase the mechanical pain threshold of the periorbital region receptive field of the trigeminal nerve and decrease the discharges of neurons in the trigeminocervical complex. Acupuncture also reversed the abnormal skin pain response of the periorbital region receptive field of the trigeminal nerve caused by low-intensity stimulation.
Discussion: We believe that our study makes a significant contribution to the literature because it is the first of its kind to use GB20 to provide relief from migraine attacks and mechanical cephalic cutaneous hypersensitivity by regulating the neuronal discharge from trigeminocervical complex.

Keywords: acupuncture, headache prevention, hypersensitivity, electrophysiology, the trigeminocervical complex, inflammatory soup

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