Sciatic –Vagal Nerve Stimulation by Electroacupuncture Alleviates Inflammatory Arthritis in Lyme Disease-Susceptible C3H Mice

Lyme disease is caused by Borrelia burgdorferi, and the pathogenesis of the disease is complex with both bacterial and host factors contributing to inflammatory responses. Lyme disease affects different organs including joints and results in arthritis. Immune responses stimulated by B. burgdorferi through toll-like receptors cause infiltration of leukocytes, which produce inflammatory cytokines and facilitate spirochete clearance. However, arthritic manifestations and chronic fatigue syndrome-like symptoms persist long after completion of antibiotic treatment regimens in a significant number of patients. To counter the effects of inflammation, treatment by non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, hydroxychloroquine, or synovectomy to eradicate inflammatory arthritis in the involved joint could be employed; however, they often have long-term consequences. Acupuncture has been used for a long time in Asian medicine to diminish pain during various ailments, but the effects and its mechanism are just beginning to be explored. Control of inflammation by neuronal stimulation has been exploited as a systemic therapeutic intervention to arrest inflammatory processes. Our objective was to determine whether activation of the sciatic–vagal network by electroacupuncture on ST36 acupoint, which is used to control systemic inflammation in experimental models of infectious disorders such as endotoxemia, can also alleviate Lyme arthritis symptoms in mice. This aim was further strengthened by...
Source: Frontiers in Immunology - Category: Allergy & Immunology Source Type: research