Electroacupuncture at Shangjuxu (ST37) and Tianshu (ST25) can improve visceral hypersensitivity in rats. Colorectal distension was used to establish a rat model of chronic visceral hypersensitivity. Immunohistochemistry was used to detect P2X2 and P2X3 receptor expression in dorsal root ganglia from rats with chronic visceral hypersensitivity. Results demonstrated that abdominal withdrawal reflex scores obviously increased following establishment of the model, indicating visceral hypersensitivity. Simultaneously, P2X2 and P2X3 receptor expression increased in dorsal root ganglia. After bilateral electroacupuncture at Shangjuxu and Tianshu, abdominal withdrawal reflex scores and P2X2 and P2X3 receptor expression decreased in rats with visceral hypersensitivity. These results indicated that electroacupuncture treatment improved visceral hypersensitivity in rats with irritable bowel syndrome by reducing P2X2 and P2X3 receptor expression in dorsal root ganglia.Research Highlights
(1) P2X2 and P2X3 receptors participated in visceral hypersensitivity in primary afferent neurons of dorsal root ganglia in rats.Research Highlights
(2) Electroacupuncture reduced visceral hypersensitivity in rats with chronic visceral hypersensitivity.Research Highlights
(3) Electroacupuncture improved visceral hypersensitivity in rats with chronic visceral hypersensitivity by regulating P2X2 and P2X3 receptor expression in dorsal root ganglia.