Objectives: The purpose of this study was to investigate roles of the anti-inflammatory cytokine interleukin (IL) 10 and the proinflammatory cytokines IL-1β and tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α) in spinal manipulation–induced analgesic effects of neuropathic and postoperative pain.
Methods: Neuropathic and postoperative pain were mimicked by chronic compression of dorsal root ganglion (DRG) (CCD) and decompression (de-CCD) in adult, male, Sprague-Dawley rats. Behavioral pain after CCD and de-CCD was determined by the increased thermal and mechanical hypersensitivity of the affected hindpaw. Hematoxylin and eosin staining, whole-cell patch clamp electrophysiological recordings, immunohistochemistry, and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay were used to examine the neural inflammation, neural excitability, and expression of c-Fos and PKC as well as levels of IL-1β, TNF-α, and IL-10 in blood plasma, DRG, or the spinal cord. We used the activator adjusting instrument, a chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy tool, to deliver force to the spinous processes of L5 and L6.
Results: After CCD and de-CCD treatments, the animals exhibited behavioral and neurochemical signs of neuropathic pain manifested as mechanical allodynia and thermal hyperalgesia, DRG inflammation, DRG neuron hyperexcitability, induction of c-Fos, and the increased expression of PKCγ in the spinal cord as well as increased level of IL-1β and TNF-α in DRG and the spinal cord. Repetitive Activator-assisted spinal manipulative therapy significantly reduced simulated neuropathic and postoperative pain, inhibited or reversed the neurochemical alterations, and increased the anti-inflammatory IL-10 in the spinal cord.
Conclusion: These findings show that spinal manipulation may activate the endogenous anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 in the spinal cord and thus has the potential to alleviate neuropathic and postoperative pain.
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