Medical Principles and Practice: International Journal of the Kuwait University, Health Science Centre
OBJECTIVE: The present study was undertaken to evaluate the antinociceptive effects of an ayurvedic polyherbal formulation in rats and mice employing the tail immersion test and acetic acid-induced writhing test, respectively.
Acupuncture is an invasive procedure commonly used to relieve pain. Acupuncture is practiced worldwide, despite difficulties in reconciling its principles with evidence-based medicine. We found that adenosine, a neuromodulator with anti-nociceptive properties, was released during acupuncture in mice and that its anti-nociceptive actions required adenosine A1 receptor expression. Direct injection of an adenosine A1 receptor agonist replicated the analgesic effect of acupuncture.
Adenosine receptor agonists have potent antinociceptive effects in diverse preclinical models of chronic pain. By contrast, the efficacy of adenosine and adenosine receptor agonists in treating pain in humans is unclear. Two ectonucleotidases that generate adenosine in nociceptive neurons were recently identified. When injected spinally, these enzymes have long-lasting adenosine A(1) receptor-dependent antinociceptive effects in inflammatory and neuropathic pain models.