Volume 55 (2005) Issue 6 Pages 339-344
Electroacupuncture (EA) was applied bilaterally to the acupoints of Zu-san-li (ST-36) and Kun-lun (BL-60) in the hindlimbs of mice. The therapeutic effect of EA on inflammatory pain induced by an ipsilateral injection of complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA) into the right paw of the mouse was investigated in this study. The time of paw-withdrawal latency (PWL) was used as an indicator for judging the intensity of the pain induced by the CFA injection. The EA effects were divided into immediate (PWL tests within 2 h after EA treatment) and cumulative (PWL tests during and after repetitive EA treatments for 3 weeks) effects. As immediate effects, PWL was significantly shortened in the CFA-injected paw, but was again prolonged 20 min after an EA treatment and lasted until 30 min after. As cumulative effects, PWL was significantly shortened in the CFA-injected paw, but recovered from the 2nd to the 8th day during repetitive EA treatments. No such effects could be observed after sham EA treatment, which resulted in behavior similar to that in untreated animals. These results demonstrate that the CFA-induced inflammatory pain in mice is an ideal model system for the investigation of EA effects and may serve as a valuable reference for the clinical treatment of inflammatory pain in human beings. Furthermore, the mouse pain model opens the possibility to apply the investigation also to transgenic mice.