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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 3632168, 10 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/3632168
Research Article

Repeated Electroacupuncture Persistently Elevates Adenosine and Ameliorates Collagen-Induced Arthritis in Rats

1Department of Acupuncture, The First Affiliated Hospital of Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou, Zhejiang 325000, China
2Chengdu Integrated Traditional Chinese and Western Medicine Hospital, Chengdu, Sichuan 610000, China
3Department of Pathology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou, Zhejiang 325000, China
4Department of Anesthesia, The First Affiliated Hospital of Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou, Zhejiang 325000, China
5Department of Neurobiology and Acupuncture Research, The Third Clinical Medical College, Zhejiang Chinese Medical University, Hangzhou, Zhejiang 310053, China

Received 12 October 2015; Accepted 6 January 2016

Academic Editor: Chang-Gue Son

Copyright © 2016 Tian-shen Ye et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The aim of this paper was to investigate the effect of repeated electroacupuncture (EA) over 21 days on the adenosine concentration in peripheral blood of rats with collagen-induced arthritis (CIA). Wistar rats were divided into three groups of 6 animals each: sham-control, CIA-control, and CIA-EA. We determined the adenosine concentration in peripheral blood and assessed pathological changes of ankle joints. Quantitative reverse-transcription-polymerase chain reaction was used to determine mRNA levels of ecto-5′-nucleotidase (CD73), adenosine deaminase (ADA), and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α). Immunohistochemical staining was used to detect expression of ADA and CD73 in synovial tissue. Repeated EA treatment on CIA resulted in the persistence of high concentrations of adenosine in peripheral blood, significantly reduced pathological scores, TNF-α mRNA concentrations, and synovial hyperplasia. Importantly, EA treatment led to a significant increase in CD73 mRNA levels in peripheral blood but was associated with a decrease of CD73 immunostaining in synovial tissue. In addition, EA treatment resulted in a significant decrease of both ADA mRNA levels in peripheral blood and ADA immunostaining in synovial tissue. Thus, repeated EA treatment exerts an anti-inflammatory and immunoregulatory effect on CIA by increasing the concentration of adenosine. The mechanism of EA action may involve the modulation of CD73 and ADA expression levels.