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Acupunct Electrother Res. 1995 Jan-Mar; 20(1): 1-6.

Involvement of opioid peptides of the preoptic area during electroacupuncture analgesia.

Wu GC, Zhu J, Cao X.

Dept of Neurobiology, Shanghai Medical University, P.R. China.

The present work was to study the roles of opioid peptides in the preoptic area on electroacupuncture analgesia (EA), and the effects of opioid peptides on noradrenaline (NA) release in the preoptic area during EA. It was found that the pain threshold and the level of [Leu5] enkephalin (L-EK) or beta-endorphin (beta-EP) release in the perfusate were increased during EA, but the NA release from the preoptic area was decreased. Naloxone (15 microM) perfusion significantly reversed the increased pain threshold and the decreased NA release induced by acupuncture. The reversal of pain threshold and the decreased NA release induced by acupuncture. The reversal of pain threshold and NA release by naloxone was dose-dependent. Multimicropipettes and microiontophoresis were also used to study the effect of acupuncture. The inhibition of nociceptive neuronal discharges produced by electroacupuncture was closely related to the etorphine-sensitive neurons, and reversed by microiontophoretic application of naloxone. The results suggest that the inhibitory effect induced by electroacupuncture may be mediated by opioid peptides in the preoptic area.


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