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Traditional Acupuncture Triggers a Local Increase in Adenosine in Human Subjects


Acupuncture is a form of Eastern medicine that has been practiced for centuries. Despite its long history and worldwide application, the biological mechanisms of acupuncture in relieving pain have been poorly defined. Recent studies in mice, however, demonstrate that acupuncture triggers increases in interstitial adenosine, which reduces the severity of chronic pain through adenosine A1 receptors, suggesting that adenosine-mediated antinociception contributes to the clinical benefits of acupuncture. We asked here whether acupuncture in human subjects is also linked to a local increase in interstitial adenosine concentration. We collected microdialysis samples of interstitial fluid before, during, and after delivering 30 minutes of conventional acupuncture in the Zusanli point in human subjects. The interstitial adenosine concentration increased significantly during acupuncture and remained elevated for 30 minutes after the acupuncture. Acupuncturemediated adenosine release was not observed if acupuncture was not delivered in the Zusanli point or if the acupuncture needle was inserted, but not rotated. This study strengthens the role of adenosine in acupuncture-mediated antinociception by directly providing such evidence in humans.

Keywords Purinergic signaling; adenosine; antinociception; acupuncture; huma

Studienautoren: Takahiro Takano*, Xiaolin Chen*,‡, Fang Luo§, Takumi Fujita*, Zeguang Ren*, Nanna Goldman*, Yuanli Zhao‡, John D. Markman†, and Maiken Nedergaard* *Division of Glial Disease and Therapeutics, Center for Translational Neuromedicine, Department of Neurosurgery, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York †Department of Neurosurgery, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York ‡Department of Neurosurgery, Beijing Tiantan Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China §Department of Anesthesiology, Beijing Tiantan Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China

Published in final edited form as: J Pain . 2012 December ; 13(12): 1215–1223. doi:10.1016/j.jpain.2012.09.012.

Quelle: NIH Public Access

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