Electroacupuncture Attenuates Inflammation in a Rat Model

Center for Integrative Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD, USA.
The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (Impact Factor: 1.59). 03/2005; 11(1):135-42. DOI: 10.1089/acm.2005.11.135
Source: PubMed


Acupuncture has traditionally been used in China and is being increasingly applied in Western countries to treat a variety of conditions, including inflammatory disease. However, clinical trials investigating the effectiveness of the anti-inflammatory effects of acupuncture have yielded inconsistent results, and the underlying mechanisms of acupuncture-produced anti-inflammation are unclear.
To evaluate the effectiveness of electroacupuncture (EA) on inflammation in a rat model.
Four experiments were conducted on male Sprague-Dawley rats (n = 8-9 per group). Inflammation was induced by injecting complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA) subcutaneously into the plantar surface of one hind paw of the rat. Experiment 1: To determine the effect of EA (10 and 100 Hz) versus sham treatment on inflammation. Experiment 2: To investigate the involvement of the adrenal glands on the effect of EA treatment using adrenalectomized (ADX) rats. Experiment 3: To determine the effects of EA on plasma levels of corticosterone. Experiment 4: To determine the effects of EA treatment versus immobilization on such stress indicators as heart rate and blood pressure.
At 10 Hz EA significantly reduced CFA-induced hind paw edema. The effect was partially blocked in the ADX rats. EA significantly increased plasma levels of corticosterone but produced no noticeable signs of stress.
At 10 Hz but not 100 Hz, EA suppresses inflammation by activating the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA) and the nervous system.

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Available from: Arthur Yin Fan, Sep 07, 2015
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    • "The same treatment was given to nonacupoint (the upper lateral gluteal muscle but not GB30 acupoint) to be set as the sham control group entitled S-GM [13]. Another sham control group, entitled S-Acu, was induced by needling into ST36 acupoint without manipulation [14, 15]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Several voltage-gated sodium channels (Navs) from nociceptive nerve fibers have been identified as important effectors in pain signaling. The objective of this study is to investigate the electroacupuncture (EA) analgesia mechanism by changing the expression of Navs in mice dorsal root ganglia (DRG). We injected carrageenan and complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA) into the mice plantar surface of the hind paw to induce inflammation and examined the antinociception effect of EA at the Zusanli (ST36) acupoint at 2 Hz low frequency. Mechanical hyperalgesia was evaluated by using electronic von Frey filaments, and thermal hyperalgesia was assessed using Hargreaves' test. Furthermore, we observed the expression and quality of Navs in DRG neurons. Our results showed that EA reduced mechanical and thermal pain in inflammatory animal model. The expression of Nav1.7 and Nav1.8 was increased after 4 days of carrageenan- and CFA-elicited inflammatory pain and further attenuated by 2 Hz EA stimulation. The attenuation cannot be observed in Nav1.9 sodium channels. We demonstrated that EA at Zusanli (ST36) acupoint at 2 Hz low-frequency stimulation attenuated inflammatory pain accompanied by decreasing the expression of Nav1.7 and 1.8, rather than Nav1.9, sodium channels in peripheral DRG neurons.
    Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 03/2013; 2013(3):312184. DOI:10.1155/2013/312184 · 1.88 Impact Factor
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    • "Moreover, intrathecal administration of a p38 MAPK inhibitor into spinal cord has been shown to effectively reduce pain behavior associated with the peripheral inflammation [3, 8–10]. Electroacupuncture (EA), as a traditional complementary and alternative medicine approach, has been used for several decades in the treatment of many acute and chronic inflammatory diseases [11]. Accumulative evidence demonstrates that EA significantly inhibits paw inflammation and hyperalgesia in a rat model [12] [13] [14]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Activation of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs), especially p38 MAPK, plays an important role in the development of central sensitization related to persistent inflammatory pain. Electroacupuncture (EA) is well known to relieve persistent inflammatory pain. However, little is known about relationship between EA and p38 MAPK. Inflammatory pain rat model was induced by intraplantar injection of complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA). Male adult SD rats were randomly divided into the saline group, CFA group, and CFA + EA group. EA (constant saquare wave, 2 Hz and 100 Hz alternating frequencies, intensities ranging from 1 to 2 mA) was applied to bilateral "Zusanli" (ST 36) and "Kunlun" acupoints (BL 60) for 30 min, once per day. The paw edema and paw withdrawal threshold (PWT) were measured at preinjection and days postinjection 1, 3, and 14. Spinal p-p38MAPK- immunoreactivty (p-p38MAPK-IR) cells were detected by immunohistochemistry at postinjection day 3 and 14. EA significantly inhibited paw edema at postinjection days 14 and increased PWT at postinjection days 3 and 14. Moreover, the increasing number of spinal p-p38MAPK-IR cells which was induced by CFA injection was suppressed by EA stimulation. These results indicate that anti-inflammatory and analgesic effect of EA might be associated with its inhibition of spinal p38 MAPK activation and thereby provide a potential mechanism for the treatment of inflammatory pain by EA.
    Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 01/2012; 2012(1741-427X):568273. DOI:10.1155/2012/568273 · 1.88 Impact Factor
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    • "Acupuncture relieves inflammation by different mechanisms [6-13]; increases blood circulation in the affected area, with subsequent increase of neuropeptides, cytokines and other vasoactive substances [1] as well as reduces oedema [8,12,14]. Acupuncture enhances wound healing accelerators such as fibroblast growth factors (FGF) and platelet-derived growth factors (PDGF) in experimental models [15,16]. It also increases the migration of neutrophiles and decreased the amount of local bacterias in experimentally-induced peritonitis in rats [6]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background The aim of the study was to investigate the effect of acupuncture on wound healing after soft tissue or orthopaedic surgery in dogs. Methods 29 dogs were submitted to soft tissue and/or orthopaedic surgeries. Five dogs had two surgical wounds each, so there were totally 34 wounds in the study. All owners received instructions for post operative care as well as antibiotic and pain treatment. The dogs were randomly assigned to treatment or control groups. Treated dogs received one dry needle acupuncture treatment right after surgery and the control group received no such treatment. A veterinary surgeon that was blinded to the treatment, evaluated the wounds at three and seven days after surgery in regard to oedema (scale 0-3), scabs (yes/no), exudate (yes/no), hematoma (yes/no), dermatitis (yes/no), and aspect of the wound (dry/humid). Results There was no significant difference between the treatment and control groups in the variables evaluated three and seven days after surgery. However, oedema reduced significantly in the group treated with acupuncture at seven days compared to three days after surgery, possibly due the fact that there was more oedema in the treatment group at day three (although this difference was nor significant between groups). Conclusions The use of a single acupuncture treatment right after surgery in dogs did not appear to have any beneficial effects in surgical wound healing.
    Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica 10/2010; 52(1). DOI:10.1186/1751-0147-52-57 · 1.38 Impact Factor
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