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Hsu S.-F.,China Medical University at Taichung | Hsu S.-F.,Taipei Medical University Hospital | Zeng Y.-J.,China Medical University at Taichung | Tsai S.-Y.,China Medical University at Taichung | And 6 more authors.
Life Sciences

Abstract Aims Postoperative pain is a major problem. Electroacupuncture (EA) has been accepted as a useful and low-risk complementary therapy for post-operative pain. Animal studies indicate that surgical incision activates p38 MAPK in the spinal microglia, which critically contributes to post-incisional nociceptive development. How EA affects incision-induced p38 activation is important but yet to be fully elucidated. Methods Male adult rats received plantar incision (PI) at the right hind paw followed by 30-min EA of 4-Hz, one of two intensities (3 and 10 mA), and at right ST36 (Zusanli) acupoint immediately after PI and for 3 successive days. EA analgesia was evaluated by von Frey fibers and Hargreaves' tests. Spinal p38 activation was examined by immunostaining. In separate groups, SB203580, a p38 inhibitor, was intrathecally injected alone or with EA to test the combining effect on nociception and spinal phospho-p38. Key findings EA of 10-mA significantly ameliorated mechanical allodynia, but 3-mA did not. None of them altered thermal hyperalgesia. Repeated EA could not inhibit phospho-p38 in the PI rats, contrarily, EA per se significantly induced phospho-p38 in the normal rats. Intrathecal SB203580 injection dose-dependently prevented PI-induced allodynia. Combination of low-dose SB203580 and 3-mA EA, which were ineffective individually, profoundly reduce post-PI allodynia. Significance We demonstrated that 10-mA EA exerts a significant inhibition against post-PI mechanical hypersensitivity via a p38-independent pathway. Importantly, co-treatment with low-dose p38 inhibitor and 3-mA EA can counteract spinal phospho-p38 to exert strong analgesic effect. Our finding suggests a novel strategy to improve EA analgesic quality. © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Source

Chan T.-M.,China Medical University at Taichung | Chan T.-M.,Everfront Biotech Inc | Chen J.Y.-R.,Guang Li Biomedicine Inc. | Ho L.-I.,Taipei Veterans General Hospital | And 14 more authors.
Cell Transplantation

Neurodegenerative disorders, chronic diseases that can severely affect the patient's daily life, include amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, and Huntington's diseases. However, these diseases all have the common characteristic that they are due to degenerative irreversibility, and thus no efficient drugs or therapy methods can mitigate symptoms completely. Stem cell therapy, such as adipose tissue-derived stem cells (ADSCs), is a promising treatment for incurable disorders. In this review, we summarized the previous studies using ADSCs to treat neurodegenerative disorders, as well as their therapeutic mechanisms. We also suggested possible expectations for future human clinical trials involving minimized intracerebroventricular combined with intravenous administration, using different cell lineages to finish complementary therapy as well as change the extracellular matrix to create a homing niche. Depending on successful experiments in relevant neurodegenerative disorders models, this could form the theoretical basis for future human clinical trials. © 2014 Cognizant Comm. Corp. Source

Zeng Y.-J.,China Medical University at Taichung | Tsai S.-Y.,China Medical University at Taichung | Chen K.-B.,China Medical University at Taichung | Hsu S.-F.,China Medical University at Taichung | And 4 more authors.
Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Electroacupuncture (EA) is a complementary therapy to improve morphine analgesia for postoperative pain, but underlying mechanism is not well-known. Herein, we investigated EA-induced analgesic effect in a plantar incision (PI) model in male Sprague-Dawley rats. PI was performed at the left hind paw. EA of 4 Hz and high intensity or sham needling was conducted at right ST36 prior to PI and repeated for another 2 days. Behavioral responses to mechanical and thermal stimuli, spinal phospho-ERK, and Fos expression were all analyzed. In additional groups, naloxone and morphine were administered to elucidate involvement of opioid receptors and for comparison with EA. EA pretreatment significantly reduced post-PI tactile allodynia for over 1 day; repeated treatments maintained analgesic effect. Intraperitoneal naloxone could reverse EA analgesia. Low-dose subcutaneous morphine (1 mg/kg) had stronger inhibitory effect on PI-induced allodynia than EA for 1 h. However, analgesic tolerance appeared after repeated morphine injections. Both EA and morphine could equally inhibit PI-induced p-ERK and Fos inductions. We conclude that though EA and morphine attenuate postincision pain through opioid receptor activations, daily EA treatments result in analgesic accumulation whereas daily morphine injections develop analgesic tolerance. Discrepant pathways and mechanisms underlying two analgesic means may account for the results. © 2014 Yen-Jing Zeng et al. Source

Chan T.-M.,China Medical University at Taichung | Chan T.-M.,Everfront Biotech Inc | Harn H.-J.,China Medical University at Taichung | Lin H.-P.,National Health Research Institute | And 17 more authors.
Cell Transplantation

Human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) are currently available for a range of applications and benefits and have become a good material for regenerative medicine, tissue engineering, and disease therapy. Before ex vivo expansion, isolation and characterization of primary hMSCs from peripheral tissues are key steps for obtaining adequate materials for clinical application. The proportion of peripheral stem cells is very low in surrounding tissues and organs; thus the recovery ratio will be a limiting factor. In this review, we summarized current common methods used to isolate peripheral stem cells, as well as the new insights revealed to improve the quantity of stem cells and their stemness. These strategies offer alternative ways to acquire hMSCs in a convenient and/ or effective manner, which is important for clinical treatments. Improved isolation and mass amplification of the hMSCs while ensuring their stemness and quantity will be an important step for clinical use. Enlarged suitable hMSCs are more clinically applicable for therapeutic transplants and may help people live longer and better. © 2014 Cognizant Comm. Corp. Source

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