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Electroacupuncture and analgesia in pre-clinical study of neuropathic pain: comparative effect between two frequency parameters and their action mechanisms

Grant number: 20/16669-0
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2021
Effective date (End): May 31, 2023
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Physiology - Physiology of Organs and Systems
Principal Investigator:Rosana de Lima Pagano
Grantee:Alexandre Souza Ruiz Gonçalves
Host Institution: Hospital Sírio-Libanês. Sociedade Beneficente de Senhoras (SBSHSL). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


Neuropathic pain (ND) is a complex disorder, induced by injury or disease of the somatosensory system, which significantly compromises the quality of life of the individual. Conventional pharmacological treatments induce pain relief in about one third of patients, making it necessary to search or improve more effective treatments. Low frequency dense and dispersed electroacupuncture (EA) has been used as adjuvant therapy in the ND; however, its analgesic effect decreases as the stimulation time is prolonged or when it is used repeatedly. Recently, it was demonstrated by our group, with the participation of the candidate to this fellowship, that a new EA protocol using non repetitive and non sequential frequency ('random', FR) has long duration analgesia, being more effective than the classically used DD-EA. However, due to its unprecedented nature, the mechanisms of action induced by RF-EA have not yet been investigated. With this project, we aimed to compare the peripheral mechanisms of action of RF-EA versus DR-EA in order to investigate the reason for the therapeutic superiority of FR. For this, Wistar rats with peripheral neuropathy will be submitted to treatment with an DD-EA or FR-EA session, for 20 or 40 min, 14 days after the injury. Immediately after treatment, the animals will be eutanasiated and evaluated for control of the nociceptive response, nerve regeneration, inflammatory process, peripheral sensitization, satellite cell activation and modulation of the endocanabinoid and opioid systems. False-operated animals and neuropathic animals not treated with EA will also be evaluated. These results will bring for the first time the peripheral mechanisms of a new EA frequency parameter, helping the understanding and improvement of more effective therapeutic strategies in the treatment of ND. (AU)

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