The role of arginine vasopressin in electroacupuncture treatment of primary sciatica in human.
It has been implicated that electroacupuncture can relieve the symptoms of sciatica with the increase of pain threshold in human, and arginine vasopressin (AVP) in the brain rather than the spinal cord and blood circulation participates in antinociception. Our previous study has proven that AVP in the brain played a role in the process of electroacupuncture analgesia in rat. The goal of the present study was to investigate the role of AVP in electroacupuncture in treating primary sciatica in human. The results showed that (1) AVP concentration of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) (7.5±2.5pg/ml), not plasma (13.2±4.2pg/ml) in primary sciatica patients was lower than that in health volunteers (16.1±3.8pg/ml and 12.3±3.4pg/ml), although the osmotic pressure in CSF and plasma did not change; (2) electroacupuncture of the bilateral “Zusanli” points (St. 36) for 60min relieved the pain sensation in primary sciatica patients; (3) electroacupuncture increased the AVP level of CSF, not plasma in primary sciatica patients; and (4) there was the positive correlation between the effect of electroacupuncture relieving the pain and the AVP level of CSF in the primary sciatica patients. The data suggested that central AVP, not peripheral AVP might improve the effect of electroacupuncture treatment of primary sciatica in human, i.e., central AVP might take part in the electroacupuncture relieving the pain sensation in primary sciatica patients.