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Home > Newsletters > March 2010 > Recent Research

Points - Recent Research

Electroacupuncture to ST36 Ameliorates Behavioral and Biochemical Responses to Restraint Stress in Rats
Effects of Acupuncture and Heating on Blood Volume and Oxygen Saturation of Human Achilles Tendon
Effects of Suyu-Jiaonang on Chronic Unpredictable Stress-Induced Changes in Rats

Electroacupuncture to ST36 Ameliorates Behavioral and Biochemical Responses to Restraint Stress in Rats

Park HJ, et al. Department of Integrative Medicine, College of Medicine, Catholic University of Korea, Seoul 137-701, Korea.

OBJECTIVES: Acupuncture has been used for the treatment and prevention of stress-related disorders. In the present study, the effect of electroacupuncture on the behavioral and biochemical responses to restraint stress was evaluated in rats. METHODS: Sprague-Dawley male rats underwent immobilization stress for 21 days (6 hours/day). Electroacupuncture (2 Hz, 2 mA and 10 minutes) was applied either to the acupuncture point ST36 (Joksamni) or the non-acupuncture point in the tail for the last 7 days. Rats were randomly divided into four groups: the normal group (n=10, without the restraint stress), the stress group (n=10, with restraint stress), the ST36 group (n=10, with restraint stress and electroacupuncture to ST36) and the non-acupuncture group (n=10, with restraint stress and electroacupuncture to the non-acupuncture point). The Anxiety-related behavior was tested using the elevated plus maze and the Vogel test on day 22. The serum concentration of corticosterone was determined using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay kit. The expression of tyrosine hydroxylase in the locus coeruleus was measured by immunohistochemistry. RESULTS: Restraint stress increased the response of the Anxiety-related behavior. The serum level of corticosterone and the number of tyrosine hydroxylase-immunoreactive cells were also increased. The ST36 group showed a significant decrease of Anxiety-related behavioral response, compared with the stress group. The serum corticosterone level and tyrosine hydroxylase-immunoreactive expression were also decreased in the ST36 group. DISCUSSION: These findings suggest that electroacupuncture to ST36 might play a role in reducing the stress-related responses, which may be helpful for the treatment of stress-related disorders.

Neurol Res.2010 Feb;32 Suppl 1:111-5.

Source: PubMed


Effects of Acupuncture and Heating on Blood Volume and Oxygen Saturation of Human Achilles Tendon

Kubo K, et al. Department of Life Science (Sports Sciences), University of Tokyo, Komaba 3-8-1, Meguro-ku, Tokyo, 153-8902, Japan,

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of acupuncture (dry needling) and heating (application of hot pack) treatments on the blood volume and oxygen saturation of the human Achilles tendon in vivo. Nine healthy males participated in this study. During the treatments (acupuncture and heating; both 10 min) and recovery period (30 min), the blood volume and oxygen saturation of the Achilles tendon were measured using red laser lights. During needle insertion, the blood volume and oxygen saturation of the tendon increased significantly from the pre-treatment level and these values remained high throughout the 30-min recovery period. During heating treatment, the blood volume and oxygen saturation of the tendon also increased significantly. Although the increased blood volume was not maintained after removal of the hot pack, the oxygen saturation remained significantly elevated throughout the 30-min recovery period. These results suggested that acupuncture and heating treatments enhanced the blood flow in the tendon. The long-lasting increase, especially with acupuncture treatment, in the blood supply to the tendon implies that these treatments may have therapeutic effects on injured tendons.

Eur J Appl Physiol. 2010 Feb 6.

Source: PubMed


Effects of Suyu-Jiaonang on Chronic Unpredictable Stress-Induced Changes in Rats 

Mao QQ, et al. School of Chinese Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, N.T., Hong Kong, China.

AIM OF THE STUDY: Suyu-Jiaonang (SYJN) is a Chinese herbal formula that contains four herbs: Bupleurum chinense DC, Curcuma aromatica Salisb., Perilla frutescens (Linn.) Britt., and Acorus tatarinowii Schott. Previous studies conducted in our laboratory have revealed an antidepressant-like effect of the formula in various mouse models of behavioral despair. The present study aimed to investigate whether SYJN could produce antidepressant-like effects in chronic unpredictable stress (CUS)-induced depression model in rats and its possible mechanism(s). MATERIALS AND METHODS: Rats were subjected to an experimental setting of CUS. The effect of SYJN treatment on CUS-induced depression was examined using behavioral tests including the sucrose consumption and open field tests. The mechanism underlying the antidepressant-like action of SYJN was examined by measuring brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) protein and mRNA expression in brain tissues of CUS-exposed rats. RESULTS: Exposure to CUS for 4 weeks caused depression-like behavior in rats, as indicated by significant decreases in sucrose consumption and locomotor activity (assessed in the open field test). In addition, it was found that BDNF protein and mRNA levels in the hippocampus and frontal cortex were lower in CUS-treated rats, as compared to controls. Daily intragastric administration of SYJN (1300 or 2600mg/kg) during the 4-week period of CUS significantly suppressed behavioral changes and attenuated the CUS-induced decrease in BDNF protein and mRNA levels in the hippocampus and frontal cortex. CONCLUSION: The results suggest that SYJN alleviates depression induced by CUS. The antidepressant-like activity of SYJN is likely mediated by the increase in BDNF expression in brain tissues.

J Ethnopharmacol. 2010 Feb 4.

Source: PubMed


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