Acupuncture and moxibustion
Organization: Key Laboratory of Acupuncture and Medicine Research of Ministry of Education Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine
Research direction: Research on the effect and mechanism of acupuncture on diabetes peripheral neuropathy.
Diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) is one of the most common complications of diabetes mellitus (DM) and affects over one-third of all patients. Neuropathic pain and nerve dysfunction induced by DM is related to the increase of advanced glycation end products (AGEs) produced by reactive dicarbonyl compounds in a hyperglycemia environment. AGEs induce the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines via the main receptor (RAGE), which has been documented to play a crucial role in the pathogenesis of diabetic peripheral neuropathy. Electroacupuncture (EA) has been reported to have a positive effect on paralgesia caused by various diseases, but the mechanism is unclear. In this study, we used high-fat-fed low-dose streptozotocin-induced rats as a model of type 2 diabetes (T2DM). Persistent metabolic disorder led to mechanical and thermal hyperalgesia, as well as intraepidermal nerve fiber density reduction and nerve demyelination. EA improved neurological hyperalgesia, decreased the pro-inflammatory cytokines, reduced the generation of AGEs and RAGE, and regulated the glyoxalase system in the EA group. Taken together, our study suggested that EA plays a role in the treatment of T2DM-induced DPN, and is probably related to the regulation of metabolism and the secondary influence on the GLO/AGE/RAGE axis.