Table_1_Acupuncture Improves Comorbid Cognitive Impairments Induced by Neuropathic Pain in Mice.DOCX

Growing evidence indicates that neuropathic pain is frequently accompanied by cognitive impairments, which aggravate the quality of life of chronic pain patients. Here, we investigated whether acupuncture treatments can improve cognitive dysfunction as well as allodynia induced by neuropathic pain in mice. One week after the left partial sciatic nerve ligation (PSNL), acupuncture treatments on the acupoints GB30-GB34 (AP1), HT7-GV20 (AP2), or control points (CP) were performed for 4 weeks. Notably, the significant attenuations of mechanical allodynia and cognitive impairment were observed in the AP1 group, but not in PSNL, AP2, or CP groups. A random decision forest classifier based on the pain and cognitive functions displayed that the acupuncture group was clearly segregated from the other groups. We also demonstrated that acupuncture restored the reduced field excitatory post-synaptic potentials and was able to elevate the expression levels of glutamate receptors (NR2B and GluR1) in the hippocampus. Moreover, the expressions of Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II and synaptic proteins (pPSD-95 and pSyn-1) were enhanced by acupuncture treatment. These results suggest that acupuncture can enhance hippocampal long-term action through the regulation of the synaptic efficacy and that acupuncture may provide a viable option for managing both pain and cognitive functions associated with chronic neuropathic pain.