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Mediation in the anterior pretectal nucleus involved in the control of the antinociception induced by cortical electrical stimulation or electro acupuncture in rats

Grant number: 09/51258-2
Support type:Regular Research Grants
Duration: August 01, 2009 - July 31, 2011
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Pharmacology - Neuropsychopharmacology
Principal Investigator:Wiliam Alves Do Prado
Grantee:Wiliam Alves Do Prado
Home Institution: Faculdade de Medicina de Ribeirão Preto (FMRP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil


Chronic pain affects about 20% of the adult population, and represents a great social cost. Frequently, chronic pain is not controlled adequately by the available analgesics in several patients, thus leading to the notion that physiopathology of pain and alternatives for its effective control need to be pursued. The clinical use of electroacupuncture for pain management has grown significantly and has been interpreted as an alternative for a better control of chronic pain. However, the mechanism of the electroacupuncture-induced analgesia is not well understood yet. It was recently shown that the analgesic effect of electroacupuncture in rats is inhibited by the former injection of naloxone into the anterior pretectal nucleus (APtN). The APtN is known as a key structure in the processing of nociceptive inputs and in the activation of descending pathways that modulate nociceptive inputs in the spinal cord. In addition, the APtN receives neural connections from the anterior cingulate, retrosplenial and occipital cortices, which may modulate nociception via control of APtN circuits. The present study was delineated to investigate in rats the neurotransmitters involved in the processing of antinociception induced by electroacupuncture or cortical stimulation (AU)