Metabolic Response in Rats following Electroacupuncture or Moxibustion Stimulation.
ABSTRACT: Electroacupuncture and moxibustion are traditional Chinese medicine practices that exert therapeutic effects through stimulation of specific meridian acupoints. However, the biological basis of the therapies has been difficult to establish; thus the current practices still rely on ancient TCM references. Here, we used a rat model to study perturbations in cortex, liver, and stomach metabolome and plasma hormones following electroacupuncture or moxibustion treatment on either stomach meridian or gallbladder meridian acupoints. All treatment groups, regardless of meridian and mode of treatment, showed perturbation in cortex metabolome and increased phenylalanine, tyrosine, and branched-chain amino acids in liver. In addition, electroacupuncture was found to increase ATP in cortex, creatine, and dimethylglycine in stomach and GABA in liver. On the other hand, moxibustion increased plasma enkephalin concentration, as well as betaine and fumarate concentrations in stomach. Furthermore, we had observed meridian-specific changes including increased N-acetyl-aspartate in liver and 3-hydroxybutyrate in stomach for gallbladder meridian stimulation and increased noradrenaline concentration in blood plasma following stimulation on stomach meridian. In summary, the current findings may provide insight into the metabolic basis of electroacupuncture and moxibustion, which may contribute towards new application of acupoint stimulation.
Project description:Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine therapy that has been found useful for treating various diseases. The treatments involve the insertion of fine needles at acupoints along specific meridians (meridian specificity). This study aims to investigate the metabolic basis of meridian specificity using proton nuclear magnetic resonance (1H NMR)-based metabolomics. Electro-acupuncture (EA) stimulations were performed at acupoints of either Stomach Meridian of Foot-Yangming (SMFY) or Gallbladder Meridian of Foot-Shaoyang (GMFS) in healthy male Sprague Dawley (SD) rats. 1H-NMR spectra datasets of serum, urine, cortex, and stomach tissue extracts from the rats were analysed by multivariate statistical analysis to investigate metabolic perturbations due to EA treatments at different meridians. EA treatment on either the SMFY or GMFS acupoints induced significant variations in 31 metabolites, e.g., amino acids, organic acids, choline esters and glucose. Moreover, a few meridian-specific metabolic changes were found for EA stimulations on the SMFY or GMFS acupoints. Our study demonstrated significant metabolic differences in response to EA stimulations on acupoints of SMFY and GMFS meridians. These results validate the hypothesis that meridian specificity in acupuncture is detectable in the metabolome and demonstrate the feasibility and effectiveness of a metabolomics approach in understanding the mechanism of acupuncture.
Project description:In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), moxibustion had been used for thousands of years. Many clinical case reports and scientific studies had proved that moxibustion had a good effect in treating acute gastric ulcer (AGU). Some studies had shown that the relative content and species of bacteria in the intestinal would be changed when gastric mucosal injury happened. However, there was little research on the effect of intestinal microbiome with AGU rats that were treating by moxibustion. This study is aimed at analyzing the effect of fecal microbiome in rats with AGU by the 16S rDNA sequencing technology. Male SD rats were established by orally feeding once with 70% ethanol at 4?ml/kg except the control group, then treated by moxibustion in the stomach meridian group ("Liangmen," "Zusanli") and the gallbladder meridian group ("Riyue," "Yanglingquan") for 5 days. The 16S rDNA sequencing technology analysis of feces combined with histopathological methods and molecular biological detection methods was used to evaluate the therapeutic mechanism of moxibustion on AGU. AGU brought cause changes in the number and species of intestinal bacteria. Moxibustion on stomach meridian group could reduce the area of gastric mucosal injury and regulate the relative content of GAS and EGF. Moreover, moxibustion on the stomach meridian group could increase the relative content and species of beneficial bacteria in the intestine of rats with AGU. The relative abundance of intestinal probiotics was significantly upregulated in Alphaproteobacteria, Actinomycetales, and Bacillales. In addition, moxibustion might promote the repair of gastric mucosal injury by increasing the number and species of beneficial bacteria in the intestine.
Project description:Acupuncture and moxibustion proved to be very effective in chronic atrophic gastritis (CAG). According to the Chinese traditional medicine theory, chronic diseases have an influence on the function of liver and kidney. However, there is little research to demonstrate this theory. This study is aimed at assessing the 1H NMR-based metabolic profiling in liver and kidney of CAG rats and comparing the difference between electroacupuncture and moxibustion treatment. Male SD rats were subjected to CAG modeling by intragastric administration of mixture of 2% sodium salicylate and 30% alcohol coupled with compulsive sporting and irregular fasting for 12 weeks and then treated by electroacupuncture or moxibustion at Liangmen (ST 21) and Zusanli (ST 36) acupoints for 2 weeks. A 1H NMR analysis of liver and kidney samples along with histopathological examination and molecular biological assay was employed to assess and compare the therapeutic effects of electroacupuncture and moxibustion. CAG brought characterization of metabolomic signatures in liver and kidney of rats. Both electroacupuncture and moxibustion treatment were found to normalize the CAG-induced changes by restoring energy metabolism, neurotransmitter metabolism, antioxidation metabolism, and other metabolism, while the moxibustion treatment reversed more metabolites related to energy metabolism in liver than electroacupuncture treatment. CAG did have influence on liver and kidney of rats. Both of these treatments had good effects on CAG by reversing the CAG-induced perturbation in liver and kidney. For regulating the energy metabolism in liver, the moxibustion played more important role than electroacupuncture treatment.
Project description:Gastric ulcer (GU), a common digestive disease, has a high incidence and seriously endangers health of human. According to the previous studies, it has been proved that electroacupuncture at acupoints of stomach meridian had a good effect on GU. However, there are few published studies on metabolic response in gastric ulcer (GU) rats with electroacupuncture treatment. Herein, we observed the metabolic profiles in biological samples (stomach, liver, and kidney) of GU rats with electroacupuncture treatment by 1H NMR metabolomics combined with pathological examination. The male SD rats were induced by intragastric administration of 70% ethanol after fasting for 24 hours and treated by electroacupuncture at Zusanli (ST36) and Liangmen (ST21) for 1 day, 4 days, or 7 days, respectively. And the conventional histopathological examinations as well as metabolic pathways assays were also performed. We found that GU rats were basically cured after electroacupuncture treatment for 4 days and had a complete recovery after electroacupuncture treatment for 7 days by being modulated comprehensive metabolic changes, involved in the function of neurotransmitters, energy metabolism, cells metabolism, antioxidation, tissue repairing, and other metabolic pathways. These findings may be helpful to facilitate the mechanism elucidating of electroacupuncture treatment on GU.
Project description:Acupuncture is widely used in China to treat functional dyspepsia (FD). However, its effectiveness in the treatment of FD, and whether FD-specific acupoints exist, are controversial. So this study aims to determine if acupuncture is an effective treatment for FD and if acupoint specificity exists according to traditional acupuncture meridians and acupoint theories.This multicenter randomized controlled trial will include four acupoint treatment groups, one non-acupoint control group and one drug (positive control) group. The four acupoint treatment groups will focus on: (1) specific acupoints of the stomach meridian; (2) non-specific acupoints of the stomach meridian; (3) specific acupoints of alarm and transport points; and (4) acupoints of the gallbladder meridian. These four groups of acupoints are thought to differ in terms of clinical efficacy, according to traditional acupuncture meridians and acupoint theories. A total of 120 FD patients will be included in each group. Each patient will receive 20 sessions of acupuncture treatment over 4 weeks. The trial will be conducted in eight hospitals located in three centers of China. The primary outcomes in this trial will include differences in Nepean Dyspepsia Index scores and differences in the Symptom Index of Dyspepsia before randomization, 2 weeks and 4 weeks after randomization, and 1 month and 3 months after completing treatment.The important features of this trial include the randomization procedures (controlled by a central randomization system), a standardized protocol of acupuncture manipulation, and the fact that this is the first multicenter randomized trial of FD and acupuncture to be performed in China. The results of this trial will determine whether acupuncture is an effective treatment for FD and whether using different acupoints or different meridians leads to differences in clinical efficacy.Clinical Trials.gov Identifier: NCT00599677.
Project description:Electroacupuncture at select acupoints have been verified to protect against organ dysfunctions during endotoxic shock. And, heme oxygenase (HO)-1 as a phase II enzyme and antioxidant contributed to the protection of kidney in septic shock rats. The phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)-Akt pathway mediated the activation of NF-E2 related factor-2 (Nrf2), which was involved in HO-1 induction. To understand the efficacy of electroacupuncture stimulation in ameliorating acute kidney injury (AKI) through the PI3K/Akt/Nrf2 pathway and subsequent HO-1 upregulation, a dose of LPS 5mg/kg was administered intravenously to replicate the rabbit model of AKI induced by endotoxic shock. Electroacupuncture pretreatment was handled bilaterally at Zusanli and Neiguan acupoints for five consecutive days while sham electroacupuncture at non-acupoints as control. Results displayed that electroacupuncture stimulation significantly alleviated the morphologic renal damage, attenuated renal tubular apoptosis, suppressed the elevated biochemical indicators of AKI caused by LPS, enhanced the expressions of phospho-Akt, HO-1protein, Nrf2 total and nucleoprotein, and highlighted the proportions of Nrf2 nucleoprotein as a parallel. Furthermore, partial protective effects of elecroacupuncture were counteracted by preconditioning with wortmannin (the selective PI3K inhibitor), indicating a direct involvement of PI3K/Akt pathway. Inconsistently, wortmannin pretreatment made little difference to the expressions of HO-1, Nrf2 nucleoprotein and total protein, which indicated that PI3K/Akt may be not the only pathway responsible for electroacupuncture-afforded protection against LPS-induced AKI. These findings provide new insights into the potential future clinical applications of electroacupuncture for AKI induced by endotoxic shock instead of traditional remedies.
Project description:Acupuncture has been practiced to treat neuropsychiatric disorders for a thousand years in China. Prevention of disease by acupuncture and moxibustion treatment, guided by the theory of Chinese acupuncture, gradually draws growing attention nowadays and has been investigated in the role of the prevention and treatment of mental disorders such as AD. Despite its well-documented efficacy, its biological action remains greatly invalidated. Here, we sought to observe whether preventive electroacupuncture during the aging process could alleviate learning and memory deficits in D-galactose-induced aged rats. We found that preventive electroacupuncture at GV20-BL23 acupoints during aging attenuated the hippocampal loss of dendritic spines, ameliorated neuronal microtubule injuries, and increased the expressions of postsynaptic PSD95 and presynaptic SYN, two important synapse-associated proteins involved in synaptic plasticity. Furthermore, we observed an inhibition of GSK3?/mTOR pathway activity accompanied by a decrease in tau phosphorylation level and prompted autophagy activity induced by preventive electroacupuncture. Our results suggested that preventive electroacupuncture can prevent and alleviate memory deficits and ameliorate synapse and neuronal microtubule damage in aging rats, which was probably via the inhibition of GSK3?/mTOR signaling pathway. It may provide new insights for the identification of prevention strategies of AD.
Project description:The aim of this study is to investigate the role of the purinergic receptor P2X3 in the peripheral and central nervous systems during acupuncture treatment for the visceral pain of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). A total of 24 8-day-old Sprague-Dawley (SD) neonatal male rats (SPF grade) were stimulated using colorectal distention (CRD) when the rats were awake. The modeling lasted for 2 weeks with one stimulation per day. After 6 weeks, the rats were randomly divided into three groups of eight each: (1) the normal group (NG, n = 8); (2) the model group (MG, n = 8); and (3) the model + electroacupuncture group (EA, n = 8) that received electroacupuncture at a needling depth of 5 mm at the Shangjuxu (ST37, bilateral) and Tianshu (ST25, bilateral) acupoints. The parameters of the Han's acupoint nerve stimulator (HANS) were as follows: sparse-dense wave with a frequency of 2/100 Hz, current of 2 mA, 20 min/stimulation, and one stimulation per day; the treatment was provided for seven consecutive days. At the sixth week after the treatment, the abdominal withdrawal reflex (AWR) score was determined; immunofluorescence and immunohistochemistry were used to measure the expression of the P2X3 receptor in myenteric plexus neurons, prefrontal cortex, and anterior cingulate cortex; and, a real-time PCR assay was performed to measure the expression of P2X3 messenger RNA (mRNA) in the dorsal root ganglion (DRG) and spinal cord. After stimulation with CRD, the expression levels of the P2X3 receptor in the inter-colonic myenteric plexus, DRG, spinal cord, prefrontal cortex, and anterior cingulate cortex were upregulated, and the sensitivity of the rats to IBS visceral pain was increased. Electroacupuncture (EA) could downregulate the expression of the P2X3 receptor and ease the sensitivity to visceral pain. The P2X3 receptor plays an important role in IBS visceral pain. The different levels of P2X3 in the peripheral enteric nervous system and central nervous system mediate the effects of the EA treatment of the visceral hyperalgesia of IBS.
Project description:The paraventricular nucleus (PVN) regulates sympathetic outflow and blood pressure. Somatic afferent stimulation activates neurons in the hypothalamic PVN. Parvocellular PVN neurons project to sympathoexcitatory cardiovascular regions of the rostral ventrolateral medulla (rVLM). Electroacupuncture (EA) stimulates the median nerve (P5-P6) to modulate sympathoexcitatory responses. We hypothesized that the PVN and its projections to the rVLM participate in the EA-modulation of sympathoexcitatory cardiovascular responses. Cats were anesthetized and ventilated. Heart rate and mean blood pressure were monitored. Application of bradykinin every 10-min on the gallbladder induced consistent pressor reflex responses. Thirty-min of bilateral EA stimulation at acupoints P5-P6 reduced the pressor responses for at least 60-min. Inhibition of the PVN with naloxone reversed the EA-inhibition. Responses of cardiovascular barosensitive rVLM neurons evoked by splanchnic nerve stimulation were reduced by EA and then restored with opioid receptor blockade in the PVN. EA at P5-P6 decreased splanchnic evoked activity of cardiovascular barosensitive PVN neurons that also project directly to the rVLM. PVN neurons labeled with retrograde tracer from rVLM were co-labeled with μ-opioid receptors and juxtaposed to endorphinergic fibers. Thus, the PVN and its projection to rVLM are important in processing acupuncture modulation of elevated blood pressure responses through a PVN opioid mechanism.
Project description:Previous studies have confirmed that acupuncture and moxibustion is an effective way for treating ulcerative colitis (UC). However, the exact mechanism is unclear yet. In this study, DSS-induced UC mice were treated by electroacupuncture and moxibustion, and the genome of intestinal flora was subsequently detected by high-throughput sequencing in order to explore the detailed mechanism in terms of intestinal flora. The results indicated that the alpha diversity indices and beta diversity of intestinal flora were improved by electroacupuncture and moxibustion treatments, especially by the moxibustion treatment. These treatments inhibited Streptococcus, Odoribacter, and Allobaculum whereas it facilitated Lactobacillus on genus level. Further correlation analysis showed that the alpha diversity indices were positively correlated with the percentage of Treg cells in CD4+ cells but negatively correlated with the percentage of Th17 in CD4+ cells. These data indicated that both electroacupuncture and moxibustion can promote the intestinal flora diversity, providing a new view to understand the relationship between host and microbiome when using some external therapies.