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Antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory effects of electroacupuncture on experimental arthritis of the rat temporomandibular joint

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This study investigated the antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory effects of electroacupuncture (EA) on zymosan-induced acute arthritis of the rat temporomandibular joint (TMJ). Male Wistar rats were injected with saline or zymosan (control group; 2 mg) into the left TMJ. Low frequency EA (10 Hz, 30 min) was performed at acupoints (LI4, LI11, ST36, ST44) or sham points 2 h after or 1 h before zymosan administration. Mechanical hypernociception was accessed by the electronic Von Frey method after zymosan administration. Rats were sacrificed 6 h after zymosan administration and the joint was removed for histopathological analysis, myeloperoxidase activity assessment, vascular permeability observations, and immunohistochemical verification of inflammatory mediators. The results showed that EA inhibited zymosan-induced hypernociception, compared with the control group and with the sham group (p < 0.05). The results showed that EA inhibited inflammatory parameters such as neutrophil migration, vascular permeability, and tumour necrosis factor α (TNF-α), cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) expression in the TMJ compared with the sham group (p < 0.05). Histopathological analysis showed that EA significantly inhibited edema and periarticular infiltration (p < 0.05) compared with the control and sham groups. EA at acupoints produced antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory effects on zymosan-induced arthritis in the rat TMJ.
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Keywords: acupuncture; arthrite; arthritis; articulation temporomendibulaire; electroacupuncture; inflammation; nociception; temporomandibular joint; zymosan; électroacupuncture

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Medical Sciences Post-Graduation, Faculty of Medicine, Federal University of Ceará (UFC), Fortaleza, Ceará, Brazil. 2: Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, Federal University of Ceará (UFC), Rua Colonel Nunes de Melo, 1127, Rodolfo Teófilo, CEP 60430-270, Fortaleza, Ceará, Brazil. 3: Department of Morphology, Faculty of Medicine, Federal University of Ceará, (UFC), Rua Delmiro de Farias, s/n – Rodolfo Teófilo, CEP 60430-170, Fortaleza, Ceará, Brazil.

Publication date: April 1, 2012

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