Volume 26, Numbers 1 & 2

Acupuncture & Electro-Therapeutics Res., Int. J., Vol. 26, pp. 1-9, 2001
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Effects of Electroacupuncture on Blood-Brain Barrier after Cerebral Ischemia-Reperfusion in Rat

Xu-Dong Wu, M.D, Li-Na Du, Associate professor of Neurobiology, Gen-Cheng Wu, M.D., Professor of Neurobiology, and Xiao-Ding Cao, M.D., Ph.D., F.I.C.A.E., Professor of Neurobiology

National Key Laboratory of Medical Neurobiology, Institute of Acupuncture Research, (WHO Collaborating Center for Traditional Medicine), Medical School of Fudan University (The Former Shanghai Medical University), Shanghai 200032, People's Republic of China

The effect of electroacupuncture (EA) on the blood-brain barrier (BBB) after cerebral ischemia-reperfusion (I-R) was investigated in rats. The dye Evans Blue (EB) was used as a tracer for assessing the disruption of BBB. Fluorescence quantification of EB was performed to explore the temporal pattern of permeability of BBB after the cerebral I-R with a fluorescence spectrophotometer (HITACHI 650-60). Furthermore, the morphology of BBB opening was detected under confocal laser scanning microscopy system. It was found that the BBB opening after cerebral I-R was biphasic. A rare scattered extravasation of EB was detected 2 hours after cerebral I-R. The EE extravasation reached its first peak at 6 h then decreased at 24 h and increased again at the time-point of 48h after cerebral I-R. EA can attenuate the disruption of BBB after cerebral I-R. EA could not only limit the area of extravasation of EB, but also reduce the concentration of extravasation of EB in the rat brain after cerebral I-R. The results indicated that one of the mechanisms of curative effect of EA on the cerebral ischemia might be due to its function of protecting the integrity of BBB.

Key words: Cerebral ischemia - reperfusion; Electroacupuncture; Blood-brain barrier; Evans Blue.

The project is supported by Key Grant (No. 39730510), National Natural Science Foundation of China.

Acupuncture & Electro-Therapeutics Res., Int. J., Vol. 26, pp. 11-23, 2001
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Copyright © 2001 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
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Thermovisual Evaluation of Acupuncture Points

Aleck Ovechkin,1 M.D., Sang-Min Lee,2 Ph.D., and Kyeong-Seop Kim,3 Ph.D.

1OVTON Ltd., Thermovisual Diagnostics, Acupuncture, 11 Bikova St., 68, Nizhny Novgorod, Russia 603136
2Medical Electronics Lab., Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology, P.O. Box 111, Suwon, Korea
3Department of Biomedical Engineering, College of Medicine, Kon Kuk University, Korea

The aim of our study is to evaluate the temperature distributions around the acupuncture points and channels by visualizing the infrared emissions emanated from the human skin. Our thermal imaging system that is the most sensitive to 10mm long infrared wavelength allows us to recognize the actual location of acupuncture point and analyze its functional condition by examining the temperature gradient between the point and its surrounding skin area. The temperature perception of acupuncture point on extremities is especially important since its location and functional condition have a tendency to be altered if one contract disease such as immunodeficiency, arterial hypertension, and dyskinesia of biliary ducts. Also, thermovisual examinations over the acupuncture points allow us to perform the objective medical treatments by observing the transition of temperature gradients.

Key words: Acupuncture Point; Thermograph; Thermogram; Hyperthermic; Hypothermic; Isothermic; Thermovisual Diagnosis; T-cell immunodeficiency

Acupuncture & Electro-Therapeutics Res., Int. J., Vol. 26, pp. 25-37, 2001
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Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (Tens): The Effect of Electrode Placement Upon Cutaneous Blood Flow and Skin Temperature

A. Fiona L. Cramp Ph.D., J. Gareth Noble Ph.D., Andrea S. Lowe Ph.D., and Deirdre M. Walsh Ph.D.

Rehabilitation Sciences Research Group, School of Health Sciences, University of Ulster at Jordanstown, Newtownabbey, Co. Antrim, BT37 OQB, Northern Ireland.

In the current study the effect of electrode placement on cutaneous blood flow and skin temperature were assessed using laser Doppler flowmetry. Following approval from the University's ethical committee, 30 subjects were recruited (15 male: 15 female) and randomly assigned to a control or one of two treatment groups (n=10 all groups). TENS was applied either over the median nerve or to the Hegyu acupuncture point (L.I.4) for 15 minutes. Blood flow and skin temperature data were recorded during TENS and for 15 minutes post TENS. Analysis of results showed significant differences between groups for cutaneous blood flow (p=0.0001; repeated measures ANOVA). There was a significant increase in blood flow in the TENS median nerve group compared with the other two groups during TENS application. No significant changes in skin temperature were observed between groups. This study demonstrates that the effect of TENS upon cutaneous blood flow is dependent upon electrode placement sites.

Key words: Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation; Cutaneous Blood Flow; Electrode Placement; Hegyu Acupuncture Point; Median Nerve; Laser Doppler flowmetry; Red cell flux; Skin Temperature.

Correspondence: Dr. A. Fiona L. Cramp, E-mail:; Fax: +44 (0)2890 368202; Tel: +44 (0)2890 386921

Preliminary studies of this research have been presented to the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland at Magee, Londonderry in June 1999.

Acupuncture & Electro-Therapeutics Res., Int. J., Vol. 26, pp. 39-48, 2001
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Melatonin Might be One Possible Medium of Electroacupuncture Anti-Seizures

Dong-Man Chao, M.S., Ph.D. Candidate,1 Gang Chen, M.S., Ph.D. Candidate,2 and Jie-Shi Cheng, M.D., Prof and Deputy Directory of Institute of Acupuncture Research

Dept. of Physiology,1 Chemistry,2 & Neurobiology, National Laboratory of Medical Neurobiology, Shanghai Medical University, Shanghai 200032, P.R. China

To explore the alteration of melatonin (MT) levels in pineal, hippocampus and serum during seizure crises and electroacupuncture (EA) anti-seizures, we established a rat seizure model by microinjecting benzylpenicillin into hippocampus. EA was performed on "Fengu" (DU 16) and "Jinsuo" (DU 8) acupoints in rats. Electroencephalogram (EEG) of rats was recorded and the relative power (RP) of 1-30 HZ band of EEG was analyzed. A capillary electrophoresis-electrochemical detection method was used to determine MT contents. Our results indicated that MT level was elevated in pineal and hippocampus, and first had no change then significantly evaluated in serum during seizure crisis. The elevation of MT level was greatly potentiated with 30 min EA treatment (P<0.05). Meanwhile, the degree of seizures and the increases of EEG RP induced by seizures were significantly reduced (P<0.05). Because MT was considered as an antistressor and a natural downregulator of epileptiform activity, we postulate that the elevation in MT level during seizures may be one endogenous mechanism that counteracts convulsions and seizure-induced stress. A further elevation of MT levels with EA treatment suggests that MT might be one of the possible mediums of EA anti-seizures.

Key words: Melatonin; Seizures; Capillary electrophoresis; Pineal; Hippocampus; Serum; Electroacupuncture (EA)

Acupuncture & Electro-Therapeutics Res., Int. J., Vol. 26, pp. 49-58, 2001
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Alteration of Orphanin FQ lmmunoreactivity and ppOFQ MRNA by Combination of Melatonin With Electroacupuncture

Min-Ming Zhou, M.D., Research Assistant, Chang-Xi Yu, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Miao-Zhen Wang, B.S., Research Assistant, Xiao-Ding Cao, M.D., Ph.D., Professor, and Gen-Cheng Wu, M.D., Professor

Department of Neurobiology, State Key Laboratory of Medical Neurobiology, Institute of Acupuncture Research, Shanghai Medical University, Shanghai 200032, People's Republic of China

The aim of the present study was to observe the alternation of central orphanin FQ (OFQ, also known as nociceptin) system while electroacupuncture (EA) combined with melatonin (MEL). The experiments were carried out to investigate the changes of OFQ-like immunoreactivity and prepro-orphanin FQ (ppOFQ) MRNA in some certain nuclei of the rat brain. Using immunohistochemical technique we found that the level of OFQ-like immunoreactivity was increased significantly in some pain-modulation-related nuclei, such as ventro-medial hypothalamic nucleus, raphe magnus nucleus, dorsal raphe nucleus and periaqueductal gray (PAG) after intraperitoneal (i.p.) injection of MEL 60 mg/kg, and it was further enhanced while MEL combined with EA. By using in situ hybridization, we found that ppOFQ MRNA expression was decreased in the same nuclei after the administration of MEL, and further decreased following the combination of EA and MEL. The results suggested that attenuating the release and synthesis of OFQ in the brain is one of the mechanisms that melatonin promotes acupuncture analgesia.

Key words: Orphanin FQ; Melatonin; Acupuncture analgesia; Prepro-orphanin FQ; Immunohistochemistry; In situ hybridization

Acupuncture & Electro-Therapeutics Res., Int. J., Vol. 26, pp. 59-68, 2001
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Copyright © 2001 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA.

Antinociceptive Effects of Bee Venom Acupuncture (Apipuncture) in Rodent Animal Models: A Comparative Study of Acupoint Versus Non-Acupoint Stimulation

Young-bae Kwon,1 D.V.M., Research Assistant,
Myung-soo Kang,1 D.V.M., Research Assistant,
Hyun-woo Kim,1 D.V.M., Research Assistant,
Tae-won Ham,1 D.V.M., Research Assistant,
Yoon-kyung Yim,2 O.M.D., Research Assistant,
Sun-hee Jeong,2 O.M.D., Research Assistant,
Dong-seok park,2 O.M.D., Professor,
Do-young Choi,2 O.M.D., Professor,
Ho-jae Han,3 D.V.M., Ph.D., Professor,
Alvin J. Beitz,4 Ph.D., Professor,
Jang-hern Lee,1 D.V.M., Ph.D., Professor

1Department of Veterinary Physiology, College of Veterinary Medicine and School of Agricultural Biotechnology, Seoul National University, Suwon, South Korea
2Department of Acupuncture & Moxibustion, College of Oriental Medicine, Kyung-Hee University, Seoul, South Korea
3Hormone Research Center, Chonnam National University, Kwang-ju, South Korea
4Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota, St Paul, MN, USA

From a clinical perspective, the alternative forms of acupoint stimulation including electroacupuncture, moxibustion and acupressure appear to have more potent analgesic effects than manual needle acupuncture. Bee venom (BV) injection has also been reported to produce persistent nociceptive stimulation and to cause neuronal activation in the spinal cord. In previous study, we observed that BV stimulation into acupoint, namely BV acupuncture or Apipuncture, produced more potent anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive potency in rodent arthritis model as comparing with that of non-acupoint injection. Based on previous report, we decided to further investigate that BV injection into an acupoint produces antinociception as a result of its potent chemical stimulatory effect in both abdominal stretch assay and formalin test. Different doses of BV were injected into an acupoint or a non-acupoint 30 min prior to intraplantar formalin injection or intraperitoneal acetic acid injection. Using the abdominal stretch assay, we found that the high dose of BV (1:100 diluted in 20ml saline) produced a potent antinociceptive effect irrespective of the site of BV injection. In contrast the antinociceptive effect observed in both the writhing and formalin tests following administration of a low dose of BV (1:1000 diluted in 20ml saline) was significantly different between acupoint and non-acupoint sites. BV injection into an acupoint (Zhongwan, Cv. 12) was found to produce significantly greater antinociception than non-acupoint injection (10 mm from Zhongwan, Cv. 12) in the abdominal stretch assay. Similarly, in the formalin test, acupoint (Zusanii, St. 36) injection of BV produced more potent antinociception than non-acupoint injection (gluteal muscle). In contrast, BV injection into an arbitrary non-acupoint site on the back did not produce antinociception in either the writhing or formalin test. These results indicate that BV injection directly into an acupoint can produce a potent antinociceptive effect and suggest that this alternative form of acupoint stimulation (Apipuiicture) may be a promising method for the relief of pain.

Key words: Abdominal stretch assay; Acupuncture; Antinociception; Bee venom; Formalin test