Jun Takagi (1), Takanori Sawada (1) and Norifumi Yonehara (2,*)
Departments of (1) Anesthesiology and (2) Pharmacology, Osaka University Faculty of Dentistry, 1-8 Yamadaoka, Suita, Osaka 565, Japan (*) To whom correspondence should be addressed.
Abstract: To elucidate mechanisms involved in analgesia induced by effects of electro-acupuncture (EAP), effects of EAP on evoked potentials and release of substance P (SP) following tooth pulp stimulation (ST) in the superficial layers of the trigeminal nucleus caudalis (Vc-I-II) were studied in the rabbit. The potentials evoked by ST were composed of two main components with conduction velocity of ca. 30 m/sec (fast component) and ca. 12 m/sec (late component). The late component was significantly inhibited by morphine (10 mg/kg, i.v.) or CP-96,345 (5 mg/kg, i.v.), an SP antagonist. This inhibitory effect of morphine was antagonized by naloxone (1 mg/kg, i.v.) or methysergide (5 mg/kg, i.v.). In addition, the late component was significantly inhibited by EAP, which was observed in ca. 70% of the rabbits examined. This EAP-induced inhibitory effect was antagonized by naloxone (1 mg/kg, i.v.) or methysergide (5 mg/kg, i.v.), but not by prazosin (5 mg/kg, i.v.) and yohimbine (1 mg/kg, i.v.). The stimulus-evoked SP release was inhibited by EAP, which was significantly antagonized by pretreatment with naloxone (1 mg/kg, i.v.) or methysergide (5 mg/kg, i.v.). These results suggest that one of the mechanisms of analgesia induced by EAP is due to inhibition of the stimulus-evoked SP release in the Vc-I-II through activation of the descending serotonergic systems linking up with opioidergic systems.
Electro-acupuncture, Tooth pulp stimulation, Evoked potential, Trigeminal nucleus caudalis, Serotonin
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