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Neural Plasticity
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 3728752, 13 pages
Research Article

The Effect of Electroacupuncture on PKMzeta in the ACC in Regulating Anxiety-Like Behaviors in Rats Experiencing Chronic Inflammatory Pain

Department of Neurobiology and Acupuncture Research, The Third Clinical Medical College, Zhejiang Chinese Medical University, Hangzhou 310053, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Jianqiao Fang

Received 24 April 2017; Revised 31 July 2017; Accepted 7 August 2017; Published 18 September 2017

Academic Editor: Clive R. Bramham

Copyright © 2017 Junying Du 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.


Chronic inflammatory pain can induce emotional diseases. Electroacupuncture (EA) has effects on chronic pain and pain-related anxiety. Protein kinase Mzeta (PKMzeta) has been proposed to be essential for the maintenance of pain and may interact with GluR1 to maintain CNS plasticity in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). We hypothesized that the PKMzeta-GluR1 pathway in the ACC may be involved in anxiety-like behaviors of chronic inflammatory pain and that the mechanism of EA regulation of pain emotion may involve the PKMzeta pathway in the ACC. Our results showed that chronic inflammatory pain model decreased the paw withdrawal threshold (PWT) and increased anxiety-like behaviors. The protein expression of PKCzeta, p-PKCzeta (T560), PKMzeta, p-PKMzeta (T560), and GluR1 in the ACC of the model group were remarkably enhanced. EA increased PWT and alleviated anxiety-like behaviors. EA significantly inhibited the protein expression of p-PKMzeta (T560) in the ACC, and only a downward trend effect for other substances. Further, the microinjection of ZIP remarkably reversed PWT and anxiety-like behaviors. The present study provides direct evidence that the PKCzeta/PKMzeta-GluR1 pathway is related to pain and pain-induced anxiety-like behaviors. EA treatment both increases pain-related somatosensory behavior and decreases pain-induced anxiety-like behaviors by suppressing PKMzeta activity in the ACC.