Acupuncture modulates mechanical responses of smooth muscle produced by transmural nerve stimulation in gastric antrum of genetically hyperglycemic rats.
ABSTRACT Effects of acupuncture treatment on mechanical responses produced by transmural nerve stimulation (TNS) and acetylcholine (ACh) were investigated in circular smooth muscle preparations isolated from the antrum of the stomach of genetically hyperglycemic rats. While control rats had blood glucose levels of about 140 mg/dl, this was approximately tripled in the genetically hyperglycemic rats, but only doubled in the acupuncture treated genetically hyperglycemic rats. Antrum smooth muscle produced phasic contractions spontaneously, with a similar frequency and amplitude in the three groups of rats. Effects of atropine and Nomega-nitro-L-arginine (L-NA) on TNS-induced responses revealed that in the antrum smooth muscle of the control rats, cholinergic excitatory, non-adrenergic non-cholinergic excitatory (NANCE), nitrergic inhibitory and off-responses produced projections: the last projection was considered to be non-adrenergic non-cholinergic non-nitrergic (NANCNN) in nature. In genetically hyperglycemic rats, nitrergic and NANCNN projections were enhanced and NANCE projections were absent. Acupuncture treated genetically hyperglycemic rats showed a reduction of NANCNN projection and enhancement of cholinergic projection, with no alteration to nitrergic projection, but a recovery of NANCE projection. ACh elicited inhibitory responses at low concentrations (1-30 nM) and excitatory responses at high concentrations (100-300 nM), in the three groups of rats. L-NA converted the ACh-induced inhibitory responses to excitatory responses. Immunohistochemical examination indicated no significant difference in the distribution of c-Kit expressing cells in the antrum smooth muscle from the three groups of rats. The results indicated that in antral smooth muscle, hyperglycemia was associated with enhanced activity in nitrergic and NANCNN projections and attenuation of NANCE projections, and that acupuncture treatment caused both a reduced blood glucose level and attenuated NANCNN projections. In genetically hyperglycemic rats, cholinergic responses were enhanced by acupuncture, possibly due to the enhanced cholinergic projections, with no change in the sensitivity of postjunctional muscarinic receptors to ACh.