This study investigated whether and how electroacupuncture (EA) attenuates cold hypersensitivity (allodynia) in a rat model of oxaliplatin-induced neuropathic pain. Cold allodynia [evaluated by immersing the tail into cold water (4 C) and measuring the withdrawal latency] was induced 3 days after an oxaliplatin administration (6 mg/kg, i.p.). EA stimulation (2/100 Hz, 0.3-ms pulse duration, 0.2-0.3 mA) was delivered to ST36 acupoint or non-acupoint for 20 min. Low-frequency (2 Hz) EA at ST36 relieved cold allodynia more effectively than high-frequency EA at ST36 or low-frequency EA at non-acupoint. Naloxone (opioid antagonist, 2 mg/kg, i.p.) completely blocked such EA-induced anti-allodynia, whereas phentolamine (α-adrenergic antagonist, 2 mg/kg, i.p.) did not. Moreover, plasma β-endorphin levels significantly increased right after the end of EA and subsequently decreased. These results indicate that low-frequency EA at ST36 in rats has a marked relieving effect on oxaliplatin-induced cold allodynia that is mediated by the endogenous opioid, but not noradrenergic, system.
ASJC Scopus subject areas