Electroacupuncture Delays Hypertension Development through Enhancing NO/NOS Activity in Spontaneously Hypertensive Rats

Department of Medical Research, Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine, 461-24, Jeonmin-dong, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon 305-811, Republic of Korea.
Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine (Impact Factor: 1.88). 11/2008; 2011(1741-427X):130529. DOI: 10.1093/ecam/nen064
Source: PubMed


Using spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR), this study investigated whether electroacupuncture (EA) could reduce early stage hypertension by examining nitric oxide (NO) levels in plasma and nitric oxide synthase (NOS) levels in the mesenteric resistance artery. EA was applied to the acupuncture point Governor Vessel 20 (GV20) or to a non-acupuncture point in the tail twice weekly for 3 weeks under anesthesia. In conscious SHR and normotensive Wistar Kyoto (WKY) rats, blood pressure was determined the day after EA treatment by the tail-cuff method. We measured plasma NO concentration, and evaluated endothelial NO syntheses (eNOS) and neuronal NOS (nNOS) protein expression in the mesenteric artery. Systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) were lower after 3 weeks of GV20 treatment than EA at non-acupuncture point and no treatment control in SHR. nNOS expression by EA was significantly different between both WKY and no treatment SHR control, and EA at GV20 in SHR. eNOS expression was significantly high in EA at GV 20 compared with no treatment control. In conclusion, EA could attenuate the blood pressure elevation of SHR, along with enhancing NO/NOS activity in the mesenteric artery in SHR.

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Available from: Myeong Soo Lee, May 14, 2014
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    • "Electroacupuncture, a traditional therapy, has been recommended as a complementary therapy for hypertension. Baihui (DU20), alone or in combination with other acupuncture points, has been used for the treatment of hypertension and prehypertension patients [10]. Zusanli (ST36) is known as an acupoint for its role in reducing blood pressure [11]. "
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to investigate the inhibitory effects of long-term electroacupuncture at BaiHui (DU20) and ZuSanLi (ST36) on cardiovascular remodeling in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) and underlying mechanisms. 6-weeks-old SHR or Wistar male rats were randomly, divided into 6 groups: the control group (SHR/Wistar), the non-acupoint electroacupuncture stimulation group (SHR-NAP/Wistar-NAP) and the electroacupuncture stimulation at DU20 and ST36 group (SHR-AP/Wistar-AP), 24 rats in each group. Rats were treated with or without electroacupuncture at DU20 and ST36, once every other day for a period of 8 weeks. The mean arterial pressure (MAP) was measured once every 2 weeks. By the end of the 8th week, the left ventricular structure and function were assessed by echocardiography. The content of angiotensin II (Ang II), endothelin-1 (ET-1) and nitric oxide (NO) in the plasma was determined using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Histological studies on the heart and the ascending aorta were performed. The expression of angiotensin II type 1 receptor (AT1R), endothelin-1 type A receptor (ETAR), eNOS and iNOS in rat myocardium and ascending aorta was investigated by Western blotting. The MAP in SHR increased linearly over the observation period and significantly reduced following electroacupuncture as compared with sham control SHR rats, while no difference in MAP was observed in Wistar rats between electroacupuncture and sham control. The aortic wall thickness, cardiac hypertrophy and increased collagen level in SHR were attenuated by long term electroacupuncture. The content of Ang II, ET-1 in the plasma decreased, but the content of NO increased after electroacupuncture stimulation in SHR. Long term electroacupuncture significantly inhibited the expression of AT1R, ETAR and iNOS, whereas increased eNOS expression, in myocardium and ascending aorta of SHR. The long term electroacupuncture stimulation at DU20 and ST36 relieves the increased MAP and cardiovascular abnormality in both structure and function in SHR, this beneficial action is most likely mediated via modulation of AT1R-AT1R-ET-1-ETAR and NOS/NO pathway.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2014 · BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine
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    ABSTRACT: Baihui (GV20) is one of the most important acupoints of the Du meridian (the government vessel) and is commonly used in neurology and psychiatry and as a distal point of anorectal disorders by general practitioners. The anatomical relationship between the scalp region of the acupoint and the underlying corresponding cortex remains obscure. In this study, we first prepared the indicator for MRI scanning on a GE 1.5 T excite machine in a mode suitable for 3D reconstruction. The 3D Avizo software system (version 6.0, Mercury Computer Systems, Inc., Germany) was then used for image processing and the resulting data subsequently analyzed using descriptive statistics and analysis of variance (ANOVA). The mean distance from the Baihui anterior to the central sulcus in the adult group was greater than that in the child group (22.7 ± 2.2 and 19.7 ± 2.2 mm, resp., P = .042), whereas in the child group the distance between the Baihui anterior and the precentral sulcus was greater than in the adult group (6.8 ± 0.8 and 3.8 ± 0.8 mm, resp., P < .001). This MRI presentation demonstrates that the location of Baihui (GV20) can be identified using the distance from the central or precentral sulcus.
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    ABSTRACT: Hypertension affects approximately 1 billion individuals worldwide. Pharmacological therapy has not been perfected and often is associated with adverse side effects. Acupuncture is used as an adjunctive treatment for a number of cardiovascular diseases like hypertension. It has long been established that the two major contributors to systemic hypertension are the intrarenal renin-angiotensin system and chronic activation of the sympathetic nervous system. Recent evidence indicates that in some models of cardiovascular disease, blockade of AT1 receptors in the rostral ventrolateral medulla (rVLM) reduces sympathetic nerve activity and blood pressure, suggesting that overactivity of the angiotensin system in this nucleus may play a role in the maintenance of hypertension. Our experimental studies have shown that electroacupuncture stimulation activates neurons in the arcuate nucleus, ventrolateral gray, and nucleus raphe to inhibit the neural activity in the rVLM in a model of visceral reflex stimulation-induced hypertension. This paper will discuss current knowledge of the effects of acupuncture on central nervous system and how they contribute to regulation of acupuncture on the endocrine system to provide a perspective on the future of treatment of hypertension with this ancient technique.
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