Therapeutic Actions Electroacupuncture

NCBI pubmed

Electroacupuncture alleviates cerebral ischemia and reperfusion injury via modulation of the ERK1/2 signaling pathway.

Related Articles Electroacupuncture alleviates cerebral ischemia and reperfusion injury via modulation of the ERK1/2 signaling pathway. Neural Regen Res. 2016 Jul;11(7):1090-8 Authors: Jin XL, Li PF, Zhang CB, Wu JP, Feng XL, Zhang Y, Shen MH Abstract Electroacupuncture (EA) has anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory actions, but whether the neuroprotective effect of EA against cerebral ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) injury involves modulation of the extracellular regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2) signaling pathway is unclear. Middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) was performed in Sprague-Dawley rats for 2 hours followed by reperfusion for 24 hours. A 30-minute period of EA stimulation was applied to both Baihui (DU20) and Dazhui (DU14) acupoints in each rat (10 mm EA penetration depth, continuous wave with a frequency of 3 Hz, and a current intensity of 1-3 mA) when reperfusion was initiated. EA significantly reduced infarct volume, alleviated neuronal injury, and improved neurological function in rats with MCAO. Furthermore, high mRNA expression of Bax and low mRNA expression of Bcl-2 induced by MCAO was prevented by EA. EA substantially restored total glutathione reductase (GR), glutathione (GSH) and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) levels. Additionally, Nrf2 and glutamylcysteine synthetase (GCS) expression levels were markedly increased by EA. Interestingly, the neuroprotective effects of EA were attenuated when ERK1/2 activity was blocked by PD98059 (a specific MEK inhibitor). Collectively, our findings indicate that activation of the ERK1/2 signaling pathway contributes to the neuroprotective effects of EA. Our study provides a better understanding of the regulatory mechanisms underlying the therapeutic effectiveness of EA. PMID: 27630691 [PubMed]

[Effects of Short Thrust Needing plus Electroacupuncture Intervention on Cartilage Tissue in Rabbits with Knee Osteoarthritis].

Related Articles [Effects of Short Thrust Needing plus Electroacupuncture Intervention on Cartilage Tissue in Rabbits with Knee Osteoarthritis]. Zhen Ci Yan Jiu. 2016 Apr;41(2):124-30 Authors: Xi XF, Li XZ, Liu F, Fu NN, Ren Y, Yang XG, Zhang Y Abstract OBJECTIVE: To observe the effectiveness of short thrust needling (STN, close-to-bone needing) plus electroacupuncture (EA) in healing knee cartilage tissue and in regulating expressions of cartilage vitamin K dependent gamma-glutamyl carboxylase (GGCX), matrix metalloproteinase-13 (MMP 13) and serum uncarboxylated matrix gla protein (ucMGP) in rabbits with knee osteoarthritis (KOA), so as to reveal its mechanism underlying improvement of KOA. METHODS: Forty New Zealand rabbits were randomly divided into normal, model, EA and STN+ EA groups (n = 10 in each group). The KOA model was created by cutting the medial lateral ligament and medial parapatellar arthrotomy of rabbits as described by Hulth and colleagues. For rabbits in the STN+ EA group, "Neixiyan" (EX-LE 4) and "Waixiyan" (ST 35) were punctured with filiform needles by controlling the needle-tip obliquely to advance till the bone surface of the knee joint cavity, and "Yinlingquan" (SP 9) and "Zusanli" (ST 36) punctured by holding the filiform needles vertically along the tibia, and "Liangqiu" (ST 34) was punctured by controlling the filiform needle to advance till the thigh-bone, followed by EA stimulation. EA (2 Hz/100 Hz, 1-3 mA) was applied to unilateral EX-LE 4 and ST 35, and ST 36 and SP 9, separately for 20 min, once daily for 20 days except weekends. The pathological changes of the knee cartilage cells were observed using H. E. staining, Toluidine blue staining and electron transmission microscope, respectively. The immunoactivity of GGCX of the knee cartilage was determined by immunohistochemistry and the expression levels of GGCX and MMP 13 proteins in the cartilage were detected by Western blot, and the content of serum ucMGP was assayed by ELISA. RESULTS: H. E. staining, Toluidine blue staining and electron transmission microscope results showed that pathological changes of knee cartilage cells in structure after modeling were improved in both the STN+ EA and EA groups, particularly the former group. In comparison with the normal group, the expression levels of GGCX protein in the cartilage tissue showed by both Western blot and immunohistochemistry were notably down-regulated (P<0.01), and the cartilage MMP 13 protein expression and serum ucMGP content were considerably up-regulated in the model group (P<0.01, P<0.05). After STN+ EA and simple EA, the decreased GGCX and the increased MMP 13 expression and serum ucMGP content were reversed (P<0.01, P<0.05). The effects of STN+EA were significantly superior to those of simple EA in down-regulating MMP13 and ucGLA levels, and upre-gulating GGCX expression. CONCLUSION: Both STN+ EA and simple EA can effectively improve pathological changes of cartilage cells in KOA rabbits, which may be associated with their actions in up-regulating the expression of cartilage GGCX protein and lowering the levels of serum ucMGP content and cartilage MMP 13 protein expression, and the effects of STN+ EA are better. PMID: 27323439 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

[Electroacupuncture Intervention Inhibits the Decline of Learning-memory Ability and Overex- pression of Cleaved Caspase-3 and Bax in Hippocampus Induced by Isoflurane in APPswe/PS 1].

Related Articles [Electroacupuncture Intervention Inhibits the Decline of Learning-memory Ability and Overex- pression of Cleaved Caspase-3 and Bax in Hippocampus Induced by Isoflurane in APPswe/PS 1]. Zhen Ci Yan Jiu. 2016 Feb;41(1):24-30 Authors: Li XY, Xu L, Liu CL, Huang LS, Zhu XY Abstract OBJECTIVE: To investigate the protection mechanism of electroacupuncture (EA) therapy against Alzheimer's disease (AD)-like neurotoxicity induced by Isoflurane. METHODS: Twenty-four APPswe/PS 1 dE9 double transgenic mice (one of the most extensively used transgenic mouse model of AD) and 24 littermate wild-type mice were randomly assigned into control (Con) group, isoflurane (Iso) group and EA group, respectively (n = 8 in each group). EA (2 Hz/100 Hz, 1 mA) was applied to "Baihui" (GV 20) and "Yongquan" (KI 1) for 15 min, once a day for 3 days. The transgenic mice were exposed to a closed box filled with 1.2% isoflurane + 30% O2 +70% N2 for 4 h. The animals' learning-memory ability was detected by Morris water maze test. The expression of cleaved Caspase-3 in the CA 1 area of hippocampus was detected by immunohistochemistry, and that of hippocampal Bcl-2 and Bax proteins detected by Western blot. RESULTS: Compared with the wilde-type mice, the average escape latency of place navigation test was significantly longer, while the percentage of target-quadrant stay time and the target- platform crossing times of spacial probe test were marked decreased in AD + lso mice (P < 0.05). After acupuncture intervention, the abovementioned changes were reversed (P < 0.05). Correspondingly, compared with the AD-Con group, the number of hippocampal activated Caspase-3-positive cells and the expression of Bax protein were significantly increased in the AD-Iso group (P < 0.05). After EA intervention, the increased Caspase-3-positive cell number and Bax protein expression were remarkably down-regulated in the AD-EA group, and the decreased ratio of Bcl-2/Bax in AD-Iso mice was obviously up-regulated in AD-EA mice (P < 0.05). No significant changes were found in the average escape latency, the percentage of target-quadrant stay time and the target-platofrm corssing times, and inthe number of hippocampal activated Caspase-3-positive cells, the expression levels of hippocampal Bcl-2 and Sax and the ratio of Bcl-2/Bax in the three groups of wilde-type mice (P > 0.05). CONCLUSION: EA intervention can improve the learning-memory ability in AD + Isoflurane mice, suggesting a reduction of AD-like neurotoxicity, which may be associated with its actions in inhibiting the overexpression of activated Caspase-3 and Bax proteins in the hippocampus. PMID: 27141616 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Involvement of hippocampal acetylcholinergic receptors in electroacupuncture analgesia in neuropathic pain rats.

Related Articles Involvement of hippocampal acetylcholinergic receptors in electroacupuncture analgesia in neuropathic pain rats. Behav Brain Funct. 2016 Apr 12;12(1):13 Authors: Chen SP, Kan Y, Zhang JL, Wang JY, Gao YH, Qiao LN, Feng XM, Yan YX, Liu JL Abstract BACKGROUND: Cumulating evidence has shown a close correlation between electroacupuncture stimulation (EAS) frequency-specific analgesic effect and central opioid peptides. However, the actions of hippocampal acetylcholinergic receptors have not been determined. This study aims to observe the effect of different frequencies of EAS on the expression of hippocampal muscarinic and nicotinic acetylcholinergic receptors (mAChRs, nAChRs) in neuropathic pain rats for revealing their relationship. METHODS: Forty male Wistar rats were randomly and equally divided into sham, CCI model, 2, 2/15 and 100 HzEA groups. The neuropathic pain model was established by ligature of the left sciatic nerve to induce chronic constriction injury (CCI). EAS was applied to bilateral Zusanli (ST36) and Yanglingquan (GB34) for 30 min, once daily for 14 days except weekends. The mechanical pain thresholds (withdrawal latencies, PWLs) of bilateral hindpaws were measured. The expression levels of hippocampal M1 and M2 mAChR, and α4 and β2 nAChR genes and proteins were detected by quantitative RT-PCR and Western blot, separately. The involvement of mAChR and nAChR in the analgesic effect of EAS was confirmed by intra-hippocampal microinjection of M1mAChR antagonist (Pirenzepine) and α4β2 nAChR antagonist (dihydro-beta-erythroidine) respectively. RESULTS: Following EAS, the CCI-induced increase of difference values of bilateral PWLs on day 6 and 14 was significantly reduced (P < 0.05), with 2/15 Hz being greater than 100 Hz EAS on day 14 (P < 0.05). After 2 weeks' EAS, the decreased expression levels of M1 mAChR mRNA of both 2 and 2/15 Hz groups and M1 mAChR protein of the three EAS groups, α4 AChR mRNA of the 2/15 Hz group and β2 nAChR protein of the three EAS groups were considerably increased (P < 0.05), suggesting an involvement of M1 mAChR and β2 nAChR proteins in EAS-induced pain relief. No significant changes were found in the expression of M2 mAChR mRNA and protein, α4 nAChR protein and β2 nAChR mRNA after CCI and EAS (P > 0.05). The analgesic effect of EAS was abolished by intra-hippocampal microinjection of M1mAChR and α4β2 nAChR antagonists respectively. CONCLUSIONS: EAS of ST36-GB34 produces a cumulative analgesic effect in neuropathic pain rats, which is frequency-dependent and probably mediated by hippocampal M1 mAChR and β2 nAChR proteins. PMID: 27068709 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

[Effect of Electroacupuncture Stimulation of Acupoints at the Distal Limbs on Heart Function of Volunteers with Acute Hypoxia].

Related Articles [Effect of Electroacupuncture Stimulation of Acupoints at the Distal Limbs on Heart Function of Volunteers with Acute Hypoxia]. Zhen Ci Yan Jiu. 2015 Oct;40(5):402-8 Authors: Dong YQ, Xiu CY, Sa ZY, Xu JS Abstract OBJECTIVE: To observe the effect of electroacupuncture (EA) stimulation of different acupoints at the distal ends of the limbs on cardiac function in volunteers with acute hypoxia, so as to determine if its actions are realized by way of segmental innervations or meridians. METHODS: Twenty healthy volunteers were divided into control, Quze (PC 3), Shousanli (LI 10), Guangming (GB 37) and Zusanli (ST 36) groups (both PC 3 and LI 10 are innervated by spinal C3-C6, and both ST 36 and GB 37 innervated by L5-S1). Acute hyoxia (simulating the conditions of about 5,000 m height above the sea level) was induced by asking the volunteers to inhale low-oxygen gas mixture (10.8% O2 + 89.2% N2) for 30 min, when, the participants' cardiac output (CO), heart rate (HR), left cardiac work (LOW), left ventricular ejection time (LVET)were measured using a ICG Monitor and EA stimulation (10 Hz/20 Hz, 1-2 V) was also conducted for 20 min following inhaling low-oxygen for 10 min. RESULTS: Before low-oxygen inhale, the levels of CO, HR, LCW and LVET ratios (test value/basic value) of the control, PC 3, LI 10, ST 36 and GB 37 groups were comparable (P > 0.05). After inhaling low-oxygen gas mixture for 10 min, the levels of CO, HR, and LCW ratios were significantly increased, and the LVET ratios were notably decreased in the five groups (P < 0.05). Compared with the 10 min-low-oxygen inhale of the same one group, CO and HR ratios at both EA 10 min and 20 min in the PC 3 and ST 36 groups, LCW ratios at EA 10 min in both PC 3 and ST 36 groups were notably down-regulated (P < 0.05), while the LVET ratios of both PC 3 and ST 36 groups was significantly prolonged (P < 0.05). No significant changes of CO, HR, LCW and LVET ratios were found in the LI 10 and GB 37 groups after EA for 10 min and 20 min (P > 0.05). CONCLUSION: EA stimulation of Quze (PC 3) and Zusanli (ST 36), but not Shousanli (LI 10) and Guangming (GB 37) can lower CO, HR and LCW levels and increase LVET in volunteer subjects undergoing acute hypoxia, suggesting that the therapeutic effect of EA maybe not rely on the segmental innervations, but rather, depend on the meridians to which the acupoints belong. PMID: 26669199 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

[Effects of acupotomy intervention on regional pathological changes and expression of carti- lage-mechanics related proteins in rabbits with knee osteoarthritis].

Related Articles [Effects of acupotomy intervention on regional pathological changes and expression of carti- lage-mechanics related proteins in rabbits with knee osteoarthritis]. Zhen Ci Yan Jiu. 2015 Apr;40(2):119-24, 140 Authors: Liang CX, Guo Y, Tao L, Xiao H, Liu QG, Ma HF, Guo CQ Abstract OBJECTIVE: To observe the effect of acupotomy (needle-knife) therapy on local pathological changes and cartilage-mechanics related protein expression in rabbits with knee osteoarthritis (KOA) so as to study its mechanisms underlying improving KOA. METHODS: Forty New Zealand rabbits were randomly divided into normal control group, model group, acupotomy group, and electroacupuncture (EA) group (n = 10 in each group). The KOA model was established by immobilization of the left knee-joint (modified Videman method) for 6 weeks. After modeling, acupotomy relaxing was applied to the lateral collateral ligament and patellar ligament of the left knee-joint, once a week for 3 times, and EA (2 Hz/100 Hz, 3 mA) was applied to the left "Yanglingquan" (GB 34), "Yinlingquan" (SP 9), "Neixiyan" (EX-LE 4) and "Waixiyan" (ST 35) for 20 min, 3 times a week for three weeks. The expression levels of Integrin β1, type II collagen (Col-II), matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-3 and Aggrecan proteins of the cartilage tissue of the left femoral medial and external condyles were observed by Western blot. Pathological changes of the knee-joint by X-ray scanning and those of the femoral condyle tissue were evaluated by Mankin's scores under light microscope after H. E. staining. RESULTS: X-ray showed successful modeling, and pathological changes of the articular cartilage belonged to the early and moderate lesion of knee osteoarthritis. The Mankin's score was significantly higher in the model group than in the control group (P < 0.01) , and after the treatment, the Mankin's scores were significantly decreased in the acupotomy. group (P < 0.01), rather than in the EA group (P > 0.05). The results of Western blot showed that after modeling, the expression levels of Integrin β 1, Col-II and Aggrecan proteins of the femoral articular cartilage were considerably decreased (P < 0.01), while that of MMP-3 protein was significantly increased (P < 0.01). Compared with the model group, the decreased expression levels of Integrin β 1, Col-II and Aggrecan proteins in the acupotomy group and Integrin β 1 protein in the EA group were notably up-regulated (P < 0.01 , P < 0.05), and MMP-3 expression in the acupotomy group was significantly down-regulated (P < 0.01). No significant changes were found in the EA group in the expression levels of Col-II , Aggrecan and MMP-3 proteins compared with the model group (P > 0.05). CONCLUSION: Acupotomy intervention can relieve KOA-induced injury of the knee-joint in KOA rats, which is associated with its actions in raising expression levels of Integrin β 1, Col-II and Aggrecan proteins and in lowering the expression of MMP-3 proteins in the articular cartilage, probably by adjusting the mechanics-related signal pathway of the articular chondrocytes. PMID: 26054196 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Electroacupuncture ameliorates experimental colitis induced by TNBS through activation of interleukin-10 and inhibition of iNOS in mice.

Related Articles Electroacupuncture ameliorates experimental colitis induced by TNBS through activation of interleukin-10 and inhibition of iNOS in mice. Acta Cir Bras. 2014 Dec;29(12):787-93 Authors: Goes AC, Pinto FM, Fernandes GC, Barbosa JS, Correia ES, Ribeiro RA, Guimaraes SB, Lima Júnior RC, Brito GA, Rodrigues LV Abstract PURPOSE: To study the anti-inflammatory actions of electroacupuncture (EAc) on an experimental colitis model in mice. METHODS: Thirty-eight male Swiss mice, divided in five groups, were subjected to induction of colitis by TNBS in 50% ethanol. Saline (SAL) and ethanol (ETNL) groups served as controls. TNBS+EAc and TNBS+ dexamethasone subgroups were treated with EAc 100Hz and dexamethasone (DEXA) 1 mg/Kg/day, respectively. After three days, a colon segment was obtained for quantification of myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity, immunohistochemistry for iNOS, malondialdehyde (MDA) and cytokines (IL-1β and IL-10). RESULTS: Neutrophilic activity, assayed as MPO activity, was significantly higher in the TNBS colitis group than that in the saline control group. TNBS+EAc group showed suppression of IL-10 in the colon. EAc treatment significantly reduced the concentration of MDA and the expression of iNOS, as compared to the other groups. CONCLUSION: Electroacupuncture 100Hz applied to acupoint ST-36 promotes an anti-inflammatory action on the TNBS-induced colitis, mediated by increase of IL-10 and decrease of iNOS expression. PMID: 25517491 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

GABA in nucleus tractus solitarius participates in electroacupuncture modulation of cardiopulmonary bradycardia reflex.

Related Articles GABA in nucleus tractus solitarius participates in electroacupuncture modulation of cardiopulmonary bradycardia reflex. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2014 Dec 01;307(11):R1313-23 Authors: Tjen-A-Looi SC, Guo ZL, Longhurst JC Abstract Phenylbiguanide (PBG) stimulates cardiopulmonary receptors and cardiovascular reflex responses, including decreases in blood pressure and heart rate mediated by the brain stem parasympathetic cardiac neurons in the nucleus ambiguus and nucleus tractus solitarius (NTS). Electroacupuncture (EA) at P5-6 stimulates sensory fibers in the median nerve and modulates these reflex responses. Stimulation of median nerves reverses bradycardia through action of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the nucleus ambiguus, important in the regulation of heart rate. We do not know whether the NTS or the neurotransmitter mechanisms in this nucleus participate in these modulatory actions by acupuncture. We hypothesized that somatic nerve stimulation during EA (P5-6) modulates cardiopulmonary inhibitory responses through a GABAergic mechanism in the NTS. Anesthetized and ventilated cats were examined during either PBG or direct vagal afferent stimulation while 30 min of EA was applied at P5-6. Reflex heart rate and blood pressure responses and NTS-evoked discharge were recorded. EA reduced the PBG-induced depressor and bradycardia reflexes by 67% and 60%, respectively. Blockade of GABAA receptors in the NTS reversed EA modulation of bradycardia but not the depressor response. During EA, gabazine reversed the vagally evoked discharge activity of cardiovascular NTS neurons. EA modulated the vagal-evoked cardiovascular NTS cellular activity for 60 min. Immunohistochemistry using triple labeling showed GABA immunoreactive fibers juxtaposed to glutamatergic nucleus ambiguus-projecting NTS neurons in rats. These glutamatergic neurons expressed GABAA receptors. These findings suggest that EA inhibits PBG-evoked bradycardia and vagally evoked NTS activity through a GABAergic mechanism, likely involving glutamatergic nucleus ambiguus-projecting NTS neurons. PMID: 25231352 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Effects of acupuncture at GV20 and ST36 on the expression of matrix metalloproteinase 2, aquaporin 4, and aquaporin 9 in rats subjected to cerebral ischemia/reperfusion injury.

Related Articles Effects of acupuncture at GV20 and ST36 on the expression of matrix metalloproteinase 2, aquaporin 4, and aquaporin 9 in rats subjected to cerebral ischemia/reperfusion injury. PLoS One. 2014;9(5):e97488 Authors: Xu H, Zhang Y, Sun H, Chen S, Wang F Abstract BACKGROUND/PURPOSE: Ischemic stroke is characterized by high morbidity and mortality worldwide. Matrix metalloproteinase 2 (MMP2), aquaporin (AQP) 4, and AQP9 are linked to permeabilization of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) in cerebral ischemia/reperfusion injury (CIRI). BBB disruption, tissue inflammation, and MMP/AQP upregulation jointly provoke brain edema/swelling after CIRI, while acupuncture and electroacupuncture can alleviate CIRI symptoms. This study evaluated the hypothesis that acupuncture and electroacupuncture can similarly exert neuroprotective actions in a rat model of middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) by modulating MMP2/AQP4/APQ9 expression and inflammatory cell infiltration. METHODS: Eighty 8-week-old Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into sham group S, MCAO model group M, acupuncture group A, electroacupuncture group EA, and edaravone group ED. The MCAO model was established by placement of a suture to block the middle carotid artery, and reperfusion was triggered by suture removal in all groups except group S. Acupuncture and electroacupuncture were administered at acupoints GV20 (governing vessel-20) and ST36 (stomach-36). Rats in groups A, EA, and ED received acupuncture, electroacupuncture, or edaravone, respectively, immediately after MCAO. Neurological function (assessed using the Modified Neurological Severity Score), infarct volume, MMP2/AQP4/AQP9 mRNA and protein expression, and inflammatory cell infiltration were all evaluated at 24 h post-reperfusion. RESULTS: Acupuncture and electroacupuncture significantly decreased infarct size and improved neurological function. Furthermore, target mRNA and protein levels and inflammatory cell infiltration were significantly reduced in groups A, EA, and ED vs. group M. However, MMP2/AQP levels and inflammatory cell infiltration were generally higher in groups A and EA than in group ED except MMP2 mRNA levels. CONCLUSIONS: Acupuncture and electroacupuncture at GV20 and ST36 both exercised neuroprotective actions in a rat model of MCAO, with no clear differences between groups A and EA. Therefore, acupuncture and electroacupuncture might find utility as adjunctive and complementary treatments to supplement conventional therapy for ischemic stroke. PMID: 24828425 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

[Effects of acupotomy, electroacupuncture or round-sharp acupuncture needle interventions on expression of Bcl-2, Bax, Caspase-3 proteins of rectus femoris in rabbits with knee ostarthritis].

Related Articles [Effects of acupotomy, electroacupuncture or round-sharp acupuncture needle interventions on expression of Bcl-2, Bax, Caspase-3 proteins of rectus femoris in rabbits with knee ostarthritis]. Zhen Ci Yan Jiu. 2014 Apr;39(2):100-5, 123 Authors: Huang YR, Jin YL, Li N, Lei LD, Yu F, Li YB, Tao L, Zhang Q, Guo CQ Abstract OBJECTIVE: To observe the effect of acupotomy, electroacupuncture (EA) or round-sharp acupuncture needle intervention on the expression of Bcl-2,Bax and Caspase-3 proteins in the rectus femoris in rabbits with knee ostarthritis (KOA), so as to explore their mechanisms underlying improvement of braking-induced joint damage from the cellular apoptosis. METHODS: Forty-five New Zealand rabbits were equally and randomized into control group, model group, acupotomy (AP) group, EA group and round-sharp acupuncture needle (RSAN) group (n = 9 in each group). The knee-joint injury model was established by fixing the left knee joint in extention position with plaster bandage. EA (2 Hz/100 Hz, 3 mA, 20 min each time) was applied to the left "Yanglingquan" (GB 34)- "Yinlingquan" (SP 9) and left "Neixiyan" (EX-LE 4)- "Waixiyan"(ST 35) for rabbits in the EA group. The EA treatment was given once daily, 3 times a week, 3 weeks in total. For rabbits of the AP group, a needle-knife was held to insert into the front edge of the midpoint, the starting point and the stopping point of the left medial collateral ligamen, lateral collateral ligament and the patellar ligament of the knee to make a loosening manipulation for 5 times in a session of treatment, once a week, 3 times altogether. For rabbits of the RSAN group, a round-sharp needle was performed in the same way to the needle-knife including the stimulation point, the manipulation method and treatment sessions. At the end of the experiment, the left rectus femoris was taken out for detecting the expression of Bcl-2, Bax and Caspase-3 proteins with Western blot. RESULTS: In comparison with the control group, the passive range of motion (PROM) level was significantly decreased 4, 8 and 12 weeks after modeling (P < 0.01), and the expression levels of Bax and Caspase-3 proteins in the rectus femoris were considerably upregulated in the model group (P < 0.05), while the ratio of Bcl-2/Bax was notably down-regulated (P < 0.05) in the model group. Compared with the model group, the PROM level at week 12 after modeling in the AP, EA and RSAN groups were significantly increased (P < 0.01); while Bax and Caspase-3 expression levels in both AP and RSAN groups were considerably downregulated (P < 0.05). No significant differences were found among the five groups in Bcl-2 expression levels (P > 0.05), and between the EA and model groups in Bax and Caspase-3 expression levels and the ratio of Bcl-2/Bax (P > 0.05). CONCLUSION: AP, RSAN and EA interventions are effective in improving the knee-joint motion range in KOA rabbits, and this effect of both AP and RSAN is closely associated with their actions in lowering the expression of Bax and Caspase-3 proteins of the rectus femoris and in raising ratio of Bcl-2/Bax protein (reducing muscular cellular apoptosis). The mechanism of EA intervention in improving PROM may be different. PMID: 24818492 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Depressing effect of electroacupuncture on the spinal non-painful sensory input of the rat.

Related Articles Depressing effect of electroacupuncture on the spinal non-painful sensory input of the rat. Exp Brain Res. 2014 Sep;232(9):2721-9 Authors: Quiroz-González S, Segura-Alegría B, Jiménez-Estrada I Abstract The aim of this study was to explore the effect of electroacupuncture (EA) applied in the Zusanli (ST36) and Sanyinjiao (SP6) points on the N1 component of the cord dorsum potential (CDP) evoked by electrical stimulation of the sural nerve (SU) in the rat. The experiments were performed in 44 Wistar rats (250-300 g) anesthetized with ketamine (100 mg/kg) and xylazine (2 mg/kg). A bilateral laminectomy was performed to expose the L3 to S2 segments of the spinal cord. The SU nerve was exposed and placed on pairs of hook electrodes for electrical stimulation. The N1-CDPs were recorded with three silver-ball electrodes located on the dorsal surface of the L5 to S1 segments. Ipsilateral high and low EA stimulation (100, 2 Hz, 6 mA, 30 min) induced a considerable reduction in the amplitude (45 ± 5.6, 41 ± 6.2%) of the N1-CDP recorded at the L6 segmental level. Recovery of the N1-CDP amplitude occurred approximately 1-3 s after EA. Sectioning of the saphenous and superficial peroneal nerves reduced the depressing effect provoked by the EA stimulation (18.7 ± 1.3, 27 ± 3.8%). Similarly, sectioning of the posterior and anterior tibial, deep peroneal and gastrocnemius nerves partially reduced the effect provoked by EA (11 ± 1.5, 9.8 ± 1.1, 12.6 ± 1.9%). Intravenous picrotoxin (1 mg/kg) also reduced the action of low and high EA (23 ± 4.8, 27 ± 5.2%). It is suggested that EA stimulation depresses non-painful sensory pathways through the activation of specific inhibitory pathways that receive modulatory actions from other sensory and muscle afferent inputs in the rat spinal cord. PMID: 24770863 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Electroacupuncture improves thermal and mechanical sensitivities in a rat model of postherpetic neuralgia.

Related Articles Electroacupuncture improves thermal and mechanical sensitivities in a rat model of postherpetic neuralgia. Mol Pain. 2013 Apr 03;9:18 Authors: Wu CH, Lv ZT, Zhao Y, Gao Y, Li JQ, Gao F, Meng XF, Tian B, Shi J, Pan HL, Li M Abstract BACKGROUND: Electroacupuncture (EA) is effective in relieving pain in patients with postherpetic neuralgia (PHN). However, the mechanism underlying the therapeutic effect of EA in PHN is still unclear. Systemic injection of resiniferatoxin (RTX), an ultrapotent analog of TRPV1 agonist, in adult rats can reproduce the clinical symptoms of PHN by ablating TRPV1-expressing sensory neurons. In this study, we determined the beneficial effect of EA and the potential mechanisms in this rat model of PHN. METHODS: PHN was induced in rats by a single injection of RTX. Thermal hyperalgesia was tested with a radiant heat stimulus, and mechanical allodynia was quantified with von Frey filaments. TRPV1 receptors were shown by using immunofluorescence labeling. The ultrastructural changes of the sciatic nerve were assessed by electron microscopic examination. The sprouting of myelinated primary afferent terminals into the spinal dorsal horn was mapped by using the transganglionic tracer cholera toxin B-subunit (CTB). RESULTS: RTX injection diminished thermal sensitivity and gradually induced tactile allodynia within 3 weeks. EA applied to GB30 and GB34 at 2 and 15 Hz, but not 100 Hz, significantly increased the thermal sensitivity 4 weeks after treatment and decreased the tactile allodynia 2 weeks after treatment in RTX-treated rats. EA treatment at 2 and 15 Hz recovered the loss of TRPV1-positive dorsal root ganglion neurons and their central terminals of afferent fibers in the spinal superficial dorsal horn of RTX-treated rats. Moreover, EA significantly reduced the loss of unmyelinated fibers and the damage of the myelinated nerve fibers of RTX-treated rats. Furthermore, EA at 2 and 15 Hz inhibited the sprouting of myelinated primary afferent terminals into the spinal lamina II of RTX-treated rats. CONCLUSIONS: EA treatment improves thermal perception by recovering TRPV1-positive sensory neurons and nerve terminals damaged by RTX. EA Also reduces RTX-induced tactile allodynia by attenuating the damage of myelinated afferent nerves and their abnormal sprouting into the spinal lamina II. Our study provides new information about the mechanisms of the therapeutic actions of EA in the treatment of PHN. PMID: 23551937 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Medullary GABAergic mechanisms contribute to electroacupuncture modulation of cardiovascular depressor responses during gastric distention in rats.

Related Articles Medullary GABAergic mechanisms contribute to electroacupuncture modulation of cardiovascular depressor responses during gastric distention in rats. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2013 Mar 01;304(5):R321-32 Authors: Tjen-A-Looi SC, Guo ZL, Li M, Longhurst JC Abstract Electroacupuncture (EA) at P5-P6 acupoints overlying the median nerves typically reduces sympathoexcitatory blood pressure (BP) reflex responses in eucapnic rats. Gastric distention in hypercapnic acidotic rats, by activating both vagal and sympathetic afferents, decreases heart rate (HR) and BP through actions in the rostral ventrolateral medulla (rVLM) and nucleus ambiguus (NAmb), leading to sympathetic withdrawal and parasympathetic activation, respectively. A GABAA mechanism in the rVLM mediates the decreased sympathetic outflow. The present study investigated the hypothesis that EA modulates gastric distention-induced hemodynamic depressor and bradycardia responses through nuclei that process parasympathetic and sympathetic outflow. Anesthetized hypercapnic acidotic rats manifested repeatable decreases in BP and HR with gastric distention every 10 min. Bilateral EA at P5-P6 for 30 min reversed the hypotensive response from -26 ± 3 to -6 ± 1 mmHg and the bradycardia from -35 ± 11 to -10 ± 3 beats/min for a period that lasted more than 70 min. Immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization to detect c-Fos protein and GAD 67 mRNA expression showed that GABAergic caudal ventral lateral medulla (cVLM) neurons were activated by EA. Glutamatergic antagonism of cVLM neurons with kynurenic acid reversed the actions of EA. Gabazine used to block GABAA receptors microinjected into the rVLM or cVLM reversed EA's action on both the reflex depressor and bradycardia responses. EA modulation of the decreased HR was inhibited by microinjection of gabazine into the NAmb. Thus, EA through GABAA receptor mechanisms in the rVLM, cVLM, and NAmb modulates gastric distention-induced reflex sympathoinhibition and vagal excitation. PMID: 23302958 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Acupuncture in the treatment of obesity: a narrative review of the literature.

Related Articles Acupuncture in the treatment of obesity: a narrative review of the literature. Acupunct Med. 2013 Mar;31(1):88-97 Authors: Belivani M, Dimitroula C, Katsiki N, Apostolopoulou M, Cummings M, Hatzitolios AI Abstract Obesity is one of the leading health risk factors worldwide and is associated with several other risk factors and health problems including type 2 diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease and malignancies. Current conventional therapeutic strategies for obesity cannot achieve adequate weight control in all patients, so complementary types of treatment are also performed. Acupuncture, one of the oldest healing practices, represents the most rapidly growing complementary therapy which is recognised by both the National Institutes of Health and the WHO. A previous review concluded that acupuncture was superior to lifestyle advice, to sham acupuncture and to conventional medication. In this narrative review, the possible mechanisms of actions and the results of recent experimental and clinical studies with different forms of acupuncture (eg, body, auricular, manual and electroacupuncture) are presented. In particular, the effects of acupuncture on anorexigenic and orexigenic peptides, insulin resistance, lipid metabolism and inflammatory markers are discussed. Both experimental and clinical current data suggest that acupuncture exerts beneficial effects on the mechanisms of obesity. Some data suggest that electroacupuncture may be more effective than manual acupuncture; however, the most effective frequency remains controversial. Combination of different forms of acupuncture with diet and exercise seems to be necessary for achieving and maintaining weight loss.  Further prospective clinical trials are needed to establish the effectiveness of this complementary method for obesity treatment. PMID: 23153472 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

[Comparison of the clinical therapeutic effects between electroacupuncture and warming needle moxibustion for knee osteoarthritis of kidney deficiency and marrow insufficiency pattern/syndrome].

Related Articles [Comparison of the clinical therapeutic effects between electroacupuncture and warming needle moxibustion for knee osteoarthritis of kidney deficiency and marrow insufficiency pattern/syndrome]. Zhongguo Zhen Jiu. 2012 May;32(5):395-8 Authors: Gao J, Ouyang BS, Zhang Y, Li J, Yang HZ, Ji LL, Wu YJ, Wang W Abstract OBJECTIVE: To explore the actions of electroacupuncture (EA) and the warming needle moxibustion on knee osteoarthritis (KOA) of kidney deficiency and marrow insufficiency pattern/syndrome and compare the clinical effects between these two therapies. METHODS: Seventy-four cases of KOA were randomly divided into an electroacupuncture (EA) group and a warming needle moxibustion (WNM) group, 37 cases in each one. The acupoints were Dubi (ST 35), Neixiyan (EX-LE 4), Xuehai (SP 10), Zusanli (ST 36), Yanglingquan (GB 34), etc. In EA group, electric stimulation was given, 5 Hz, continuous wave. In the WNM group, warm needling technique was applied, 2 moxa cones on each acupoint in each time, three treatments a week. Totally, 4 weeks of treatment were required. The indicaices such as WOMAC score, illness severity index and systematic efficacy were adopted to evaluate the efficacy before treatment, 1 session and 2 sessions after treatment separately. RESULTS: The treatment in either group achieved the effectiveness. The cured and markedly effective rate was 64.7% (22/34) in EA group and was 40.0% (14/35) in WNM group, presenting statistically significant difference in comparison (P < 0.05). But the total effective rate did not indicate significance (P > 0.05). In EA group, the releasing effect of joint pain was obvious (P < 0.01). In the WNM group, the treatment was more advantageous at relieving joint stiffness (P < 0.01). There was no difference in the mean curative time between two groups (P > 0.05). CONCLUSION: Electroacupuncture and the warming needle moxibustion have their own advantages in the treatment of KOA of kidney deficiency and marrow insufficiency pattern/syndrome. Electroacupuncture is advantageous at analgesia and the warming needle moxibustion is at relieving joint stiffness. The total efficacy of electroacupuncture is superior to that of the warming needle moxibustion. PMID: 22650121 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Absence of actions of commonly used Chinese herbal medicines and electroacupuncture on myocardial infarct size.

Related Articles Absence of actions of commonly used Chinese herbal medicines and electroacupuncture on myocardial infarct size. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol Ther. 2012 Dec;17(4):403-11 Authors: Dow J, Painovich J, Hale SL, Tjen-A-Looi S, Longhurst JC, Kloner RA Abstract BACKGROUND: Some studies have suggested that certain Chinese herbal remedies and acupuncture could limit ischemia/reperfusion damage. We sought to determine whether the commonly used single herb Danshen (DS), either alone or in combination with Jiang Xiang (JX), or electroacupuncture (EA) reduces myocardial infarct size. METHODS: An anesthetized rat model of proximal left coronary artery occlusion (30 minutes) and reperfusion (180 minutes) was used to measure infarct size (triphenyltetrazolium chloride) and ischemic risk zone (blue dye technique). Rats were either untreated (saline) or received an infusion of DS or DS + JX, starting 30 minutes prior to coronary occlusion. In a separate protocol, rats were untreated, received static needle (ND) placement without stimulation or EA at P5-P6 acupuncture points in the rat forearm starting 5 minutes before occlusion and lasting for 40 minutes, or starting 30 minutes before occlusion and lasting for 90 minutes. RESULTS: In the herbal experiments, myocardial infarct size expressed as a fraction of the ischemic risk zone was 0.43 ± 0.06 in controls, 0.39 ± 0.05 in the DS group, and 0.42 ± 0.04 in the Danshen + JX groups (P = not significant [NS]). In the acupuncture study, there was no significant difference in infarct size as a fraction of the risk zone among the control group (0.38 ± 0.04), the ND group (0.47 ± 0.04), or the EA group (0.32 ± 0.05). When EA was started 30 minutes prior to coronary occlusion and continued for 30 minutes into reperfusion, infarct size was 0.41 ± 0.07 in controls and 0.38 ± 0.10 in EA (P = NS). Neither herbs nor EA altered heart rate or blood pressure. In a separate study of 5 minutes of coronary occlusion plus reperfusion, EA failed to reduce ventricular arrhythmias. CONCLUSION: Our studies do not suggest a cardioprotective effect of DS or DS + JX or EA in an experimental model of myocardial ischemia/reperfusion. PMID: 22549008 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Electroacupuncture counteracts the development of thermal hyperalgesia and the alteration of nerve growth factor and sensory neuromodulators induced by streptozotocin in adult rats.

Related Articles Electroacupuncture counteracts the development of thermal hyperalgesia and the alteration of nerve growth factor and sensory neuromodulators induced by streptozotocin in adult rats. Diabetologia. 2011 Jul;54(7):1900-8 Authors: Manni L, Florenzano F, Aloe L Abstract AIMS/HYPOTHESIS: Diabetes is considered the leading cause of neuropathies in developed countries. Dysfunction of nerve growth factor (NGF) production and/or utilisation may lead to the establishment of diabetic neuropathies. Electroacupuncture has been proved effective in the treatment of human neuropathic pain as well as in modulating NGF production/activity. We aimed at using electroacupuncture to correct the development of thermal hyperalgesia and the tissue alteration of NGF and sensory neuromodulators in a rat model of type 1 diabetes. METHODS: Adult rats were injected with streptozotocin to induce diabetes and subsequently treated with low-frequency electroacupuncture for 3 weeks. Variation in thermal sensitivity was studied during the experimental course. Hindpaw skin and spinal cord protein content of NGF, NGF receptor tyrosine kinase A (TrkA), substance P (SP), transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) receptor and glutamic acid decarboxylase-67 (GAD-67) were measured after electroacupuncture treatments. The skin and spinal cord cellular distribution of TrkA was analysed to explore NGF signalling. RESULTS: Early after streptozotocin treatment, thermal hyperalgesia developed that was corrected by electroacupuncture. The parallel increases in NGF and TrkA in the spinal cord were counteracted by electroacupuncture. Streptozotocin also induced variation in skin/spinal TrkA phosphorylation, increases in skin SP and spinal TRPV1 and a decrease in spinal GAD-67. These changes were counteracted by electroacupuncture. CONCLUSIONS/INTERPRETATION: Our results point to the potential of electroacupuncture as a supportive therapy for the treatment of diabetic neuropathies. The efficacy of electroacupuncture might depend on its actions on spinal/peripheral NGF synthesis/utilisation and normalisation of the levels of several sensory neuromodulators. PMID: 21431457 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

[Effects of electroacupuncture of different acupoints on changes of blood pressure and autonomic nerve system after colorectal distension in rats].

Related Articles [Effects of electroacupuncture of different acupoints on changes of blood pressure and autonomic nerve system after colorectal distension in rats]. Zhen Ci Yan Jiu. 2010 Oct;35(5):335-41 Authors: Chen SP, Gao YH, Yu XC, Liu JL Abstract OBJECTIVE: To observe the influence of electroacupuncture (EA) of different acupoints on changes of mean arterial pressure (MAP), heart rate (HR) and heart rate variability (HRV) in colorectal distension (CRD) rats, so as to analyze the specificity of actions of acupoints in relieving visceral pain and regulating activities of the autonomic nerve system. METHODS: Forty-five Wistar rats were randomized into control, Zusanli (ST 36), non-acupoint, Neiguan (PC 6) and Taichong (LR 3) groups (n = 9/group). Under anesthesia, CRD was given to the rats by using an aerostat for 5 min. EA (2 Hz/15 Hz, 2 mA) was applied to bilateral ST 36, non-acupoint (1.0 cm lateral to ST 36), PC 6 and LR 3 for 15 min, respectively. Electrocardiogram of the cervico-chest lead was recorded by using a bioelectric amplifier, and MAP recorded by using a pressure transducer and an amplifier. Low frequency and high frequency of HRV were analyzed by Chart 5.0. RESULTS: Following CRD, the HR, MAP, LF and LF/HF levels increased significantly in all the 5 groups (P < 0.05), while HF had no apparent changes (P > 0.05). Compared with the control group, 5 min and 15 min after EA ,and 10 min after ceasing EA, MAP values of ST 36 and PC 6 groups were decreased obviously (P < 0.05). The HR values of ST 36 and PC 6 groups at 15 min after EA and 10 min after ceasing EA were decreased markedly in comparison with those of each of the other groups during CRD (P < 0.05). The LF levels of both ST 36 and PC 6 groups at 5 min after EA, and those of ST 36, PC 6 and LR 3 at 15 min after EA were significantly lower than those of control group (P < 0.05). LF/HF levels of ST 36 and PC 6 at 10 min after ceasing EA were obviously lower than those of control group (P < 0.05). No significant differences were found among ST 36, non-acupoint, PC 6 and LR 3 groups in HR, LF and LF/HF (P > 0.05). CONCLUSION: EA of ST 36 and PC 6 can suppress CRD-induced increase of MAP, HR and LF/HF, suggesting beneficial effects of EA in relieving visceral pain and mediating autonomic nerve system. The aforementioned effects of EA of LR 3 and non-acupoint are not obvious. PMID: 21235060 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Electroacupuncture enhances preproenkephalin mRNA expression in rostral ventrolateral medulla of rats.

Related Articles Electroacupuncture enhances preproenkephalin mRNA expression in rostral ventrolateral medulla of rats. Neurosci Lett. 2010 Jun 21;477(2):61-5 Authors: Li M, Tjen-A-Looi SC, Longhurst JC Abstract Electroacupuncture (EA) causes prolonged suppression of reflex elevations in blood pressure for at least 60min in anesthetized preparations. Thus, EA can modify sympathetic outflow and elevated blood pressure through actions in a number of hind brain regions, including the rostral ventrolateral medulla (rVLM). Since our previous data show that the opioid system plays a role in EA-related prolonged inhibition of presympathetic neuronal activity in the rVLM, we postulated that EA increases preproenkephalin (PPE) mRNA in this region, possibly for prolonged periods of time. Under alpha-chloralose anesthesia, rats received EA (1-2mA, 2Hz, 0.5ms) at P5-P6 acupoints (overlying median nerves) or sham (needle placement without electrical stimulation) for 30min. PPE mRNA in the rVLM also was evaluated in control rats that received surgery but no EA, or sham treatment. 20min, 1.5h or 4h following EA or sham treatment, PPE mRNA in the rVLM was analyzed by reverse transcription and quantitative real-time PCR. Relative ratios of PPE mRNA levels (normalized with 18s house keeping gene) were increased 1.5h after EA stimulation (7.77+/-1.39, n=6) relative to sham (2.84+/-0.37, n=5) but were unchanged both 20min and 4h after EA, compared to the sham or surgery groups at the same time points. Thus, 30min of EA transiently stimulates the production of enkephalin in a region of the brain that importantly regulates sympathetic outflow suggesting that even a single brief acupuncture treatment can increase the expression of this modulatory neuropeptide. PMID: 20399834 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Acupuncture reduces immune-mediated pulmonary inflammatory lesions induced in rats.

Related Articles Acupuncture reduces immune-mediated pulmonary inflammatory lesions induced in rats. Forsch Komplementmed. 2009 Dec;16(6):413-6 Authors: Katsuya EM, de Castro MA, Carneiro CR, Yamamura Y, Silveira VL Abstract INTRODUCTION: The aim of this report was to experimen-tally demonstrate the biological actions of acupuncture in an animal model of immune-mediated inflammation associated with a deposition of collagen. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Male Wistar rats were sensitized by a subcu-taneous implant of heat-solidified hen egg-white and divided into 4 groups: acupuncture, sham acupuncture, immobilized, and control. Acupuncture was initiated the day after sensitization and repeated twice a week for 3 weeks. The dorsal acupoints chosen were GV-14 and BL-13, the ventral acupuncture points were LU-1, CV-17, ST-36 and SP-6. The dorsal points were stimulated manually and the ventral ones by electroacupuncture. On day 14, animals were challenged through the tail vein with Sepharose(R)beads coupled with ovalbumin. One week later, animals were bled, plasma corticoster-one concentrations were measured and the lungs were removed for histological evaluation. RESULTS: Measurement of the areas of pulmonary lesion on hematoxylin-eosin stained slides showed a significant decrease (p < 0.05) in the inflammatory infiltrate in the acupuncture group, compared to the other 3 groups. Utilization of Litt and Picrosirius staining methods, in order to better visualize the infiltrate of eosinophils and the deposition of collagen, respectively, showed that both were much less intense in the acupuncture group. Corticosterone plasma levels were similar in all groups. CONCLUSION: Point-specific acupuncture treatment effectively reduced the inflammatory process and the deposition of collagen around ovalbumin-Sepharose beads intravenously embolized to the lungs of rats previously sensitized with the same protein that was administered subcutaneously. PMID: 20090355 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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