Bee Venom Acupuncture Reduces Interleukin-6, Increases Interleukin-10, and Induces Locomotor Recovery in a Model of Spinal Cord Compression

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Abstract

Spinal cord injuries (SCIs) initiate a series of molecular and cellular events in which inflammatory responses can lead to major neurological dysfunctions. The present study aims to investigate whether bee venom (BV) acupuncture applied at acupoints ST36 (Zusanli) and GV3 (Yaoyangquan) could minimize locomotor deficits and the magnitude of neural tissue losses, and change the balance between pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines after an SCI by compression. Wistar rats were subjected to an SCI model by compression in which a 2-French Fogarty embolectomy catheter was inflated in the extradural space. The effects of BV acupuncture, in which 20 μL of BV diluted in saline (0.08 mg/kg) was injected at acupoints GV3 and ST36 [BV(ST36+GV3)-SCI] was compared with BV injected at nonacupoints [BV(NP)-SCI] and with no treatment [group subjected only to SCI (CTL-SCI)]. The BV(ST36+GV3)-SCI group showed a significant improvement in the locomotor performance and a decrease of lesion size compared with the controls. BV acupuncture at the ST36 + GV3 increased the expression of interleukin-10 (anti-inflammatory) at 6 hours and reduced the expression of interleukin-6 (proinflammatory) at 24 hours after SCI compared with the controls. Our results suggest that BV acupuncture can reduce neuroinflammation and induce recovery in the SCI compression model.

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Nascimento de Souza, R., Silva, F. K., & Alves de Medeiros, M. (2017). Bee Venom Acupuncture Reduces Interleukin-6, Increases Interleukin-10, and Induces Locomotor Recovery in a Model of Spinal Cord Compression. JAMS Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies, 10(3), 204–210. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jams.2017.04.003

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