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Home > Newsletters > February 2006 > Recent Research

Points - Recent Research

Effects of Electrical Acupuncture on Acupoint UB 15 Evaluated in Terms of Heart Rate Variability, Pulse Rate Variability and Skin Conductance Response

Effects of Lumbar Acupuncture Stimulation on Blood Flow to the Sciatic Nerve Trunk

Ganoderma lucidum Mycelium and Spore Extracts as Natural Adjuvants for Immunotherapy


Effects of Electrical Acupuncture on Acupoint UB 15 Evaluated in Terms of Heart Rate Variability, Pulse Rate Variability and Skin Conductance Response

Hsu CC, et al. Department of Biomedical Engineering, Chung Yuan Christian University, Chungli, Taiwan, R.O.C.

In this study, heart rate variability (HRV), pulse rate variability (PRV) and human skin conductance (SC) of all the acupoints on the Heart Meridian were used to evaluate the effects of electrical acupuncture (EA) on UB 15 (Bladder Meridian). Ten healthy volunteers (aged 23 +/- 6) were selected as the control group on the first day, and then used again as the experimental group on the second day. The control group received sham EA during the study, while subjects of the experimental group were stimulated by 2 Hz EA on UB 15 for 10 minutes. Electrocardiogram (ECG), wrist blood pressure pulse meter and skin conductance response (SCR) device were used to measure and analyze HRV, PRV and SCR for the two groups before and after stimulation. From the spectrum analysis of ECG and pulse pressure graph, we found that the EA applied on UB 15 could induce a significant increase in the normalized high frequency power (nHFP) component of HRV and PRV, as well as a significant decrease in the normalized low frequency power (nLFP) part (p < 0.05). Moreover, both the heart rate and pulse rate were reduced in the analysis of the time domain of ECG and PRV. Furthermore, most of the SCR values at acupoints were decreased after stimulation. These results also indicate that the stimulation of UB 15 by EA could cause relaxation, calmness and reduce feeling of tension or distress.

Am J Chin Med. 2006;34(1):23-36.

Source PubMed


Effects of Lumbar Acupuncture Stimulation on Blood Flow to the Sciatic Nerve Trunk

Inoue M, et al. Meiji University of Oriental Medicine, Kyoto, Japan. mo_inoue@muom.meiji-u.ac.jp

This study sought to discover any role acupuncture may have in the treatment of intermittent claudication of the cauda equina due to lumbar spinal canal stenosis. The aim of this study was to explore the possible physiological mechanisms. In a laboratory experiment, manual acupuncture was performed at a point adjacent to the sixth lumbar vertebra of 13 animals and its effect on sciatic nerve blood flow was measured using a laser Doppler flowmetry. Simultaneously, changes in blood pressure and cardiac rate were observed. Each animal was stimulated four to eight times, making a total of 58 experiments.

The results of the experiment showed that acupuncture stimulation did not produce consistent changes in sciatic nerve blood flow, with increased and decreased blood flow as well as no change in blood flow observed. Among the 58 individual experiments, sciatic nerve blood flow was increased in 33, reduced in 12, and unchanged in 13. Approximately half of the stimulations showed a correlation between blood flow and blood pressure change. In conclusion, the rsults indicate that lumbar acupuncture stimulation can have an influence on sciatic nerve blood flow. The effect is dependent not only on blood pressure but also other factors, for example vasodilator and vasoconstrictor nerve activity. This mechanism may contribute to a clinical effect on intermittent claudication of the cauda equina.

Acupunct Med. 2005 Dec;23(4):166-70.

Source: PubMed


Ganoderma lucidum Mycelium and Spore Extracts as Natural Adjuvants for Immunotherapy

Chan WK, et al. Department of Paediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Hong Kong Jockey Club Clinical Research Centre, Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, SAR, China.

Ganoderma lucidum (GL) is one of the most commonly used Chinese herbs in the oriental community, with more than 30% of pediatric cancer patients taking GL. The immunomodulating and anticancer effects exerted by GL extracts have been demonstrated by in vitro and in vivo studies. However, there was no comparison between the immunomodulating effects of GL mycelium extract (GL-M) and spore extracts on human immune cells. Dendritic cells (DCs) are professional antigen-presenting cells and their role in DC-based tumor vaccine has been well defined. The possibility of GL as natural adjuvant for human DCs remains unknown.

This study explored the differential effect of GL-M and GL spore extract (GL-S) on proliferation and Th1/Th2 cytokine mRNA expression of human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and monocytes. Their effects on the phenotypic and functional maturation of human monocyte-derived DCs were also investigated. The results of the study showed that GL-M induced the proliferation of PBMCs and monocytes, whereas GL-S showed a mild suppressive effect. Both extracts could stimulate Th1 and Th2 cytokine mRNA expression, but GL-M was a relatively stronger Th1 stimulator. Different from GL-S, GL-M enhanced maturation of DCs in terms of upregulation of CD40, CD80, and CD86, and also reduced fluorescein isothiocyanate-dextran endocytosis. Interestingly, GLM- treated DCs only modestly enhanced lymphocyte proliferation in allogenic mixed lymphocyte culture with mild enhancement in Th development. In conclusion, these findings provide evidences that GL-M has immunomodulating effects on human immune cells and therefore can be used as a natural adjuvant for cancer immunotherapy with DCs.

J Altern Complement Med. 2005 Dec;11(6):1047-57.

Source: PubMed
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February 2006
Volume 4, Number 2

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