tDCS and Exercise in Rats

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tDCS and exercise improve anxiety-like behavior and locomotion in chronic pain rats via modulation of neurotrophins and inflammatory mediators.

Abstract
Anxiety disorders cause distress and are commonly found to be comorbid with chronic pain. Both are difficult-to-treat conditions for which alternative treatment options are being pursued. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), treadmill exercise, or both, on anxiety-like behavior and associated growth factors and inflammatory markers in the hippocampus and sciatic nerve of rats with neuropathic pain. Male Wistar rats (n = 216) were subjected to sham-surgery or sciatic nerve constriction for pain induction. Fourteen days following neuropathic pain establishment, either bimodal tDCS, treadmill exercise, or a combination of both was used for 20 minutes a day for 8 consecutive days. The elevated plus-maze test was used to assess anxiety-like behavior and locomotor activity during the early (24 h) or late (7 days) phase after the end of treatment. BDNF, TNF-ɑ, and IL-10 levels in the hippocampus, and BDNF, NGF, and IL-10 levels in the sciatic nerve were assessed 48 h or 7 days after the end of treatment. Rats from the pain groups developed an anxiety-like state. Both tDCS and treadmill exercise provided ethological and neurochemical alterations induced by pain in the early and/or late phase, and a modest synergic effect between tDCS and exercise was observed. These results indicate that non-invasive neuromodulatory approaches can attenuate both anxiety-like status and locomotor activity and alter the biochemical profile in the hippocampus and sciatic nerve of rats with neuropathic pain and that combined interventions may be considered as a treatment option.

PMID: 33577881 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

Behav Brain Res. 2021 Feb 09;:113173

Authors: Lopes BC, Medeiros LF, Stein DJ, Cioato SG, de Souza VS, Medeiros HR, Sanches PRS, Fregni F, Caumo W, Torres ILS

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