ognizant Communication Corporation

The International Journal

Volume 27, Numbers 3-4

Acupuncture & Electro-Therapeutics Res., Int. J., Vol. 27, pp. 157-169, 2002
0360-1293/02 $20.00 + .00
Copyright © 2002 Cognizant Communication Corp.
Printed in the USA

Increased Neuronal Nitric Oxide Synthase Expression in the Gracile Nucleus of Brainstem Following Electroacupuncture Given Between Cutaneous Hindlimb Acupuncture Points BL 64 & BL 65 in Rats

Sheng-Xing Ma, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, and Xi-Yan Li, Associate of Neuroscience

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of California, Los Angeles School of Medicine, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, 1124 W. Carson Street RB-1, Torrance, CA 90502

This study was to examine the influence of electroacupuncture (EA) stimulation on neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) expression in the brainstem nuclei in rats. Low-frequency EA stimulation (3 pulses/sec) was applied between 2 acupuncture points (acupoints), Jinggu (BL 64) and Shugu (BL 65), which are cutaneously located at hindlimb, in rats anesthetized with ketamine. After 2 hours stimulation and sham-treatment, animals were perfused with 4% paraformaldehyde. Sections of rat medulla were examined by immunolableing with a polyclonal antibody directed against nNOS. The brainstem nuclei were also visualized by NADPH-diaphorase histochemistry, a marker of nNOS activity. nNOS levels were quantified by using a microscope with reticule grid to count the number of positive cells over an area. Unilateral EA stimulation of BL 64 and BL 65 in rats caused increases in nNOS immunostaining cells in the ipsilateral and contralateral gracile nucleus compared with sham-treated rats (p<0.05, n=6). NADPH-diaphorase positive cells were also increased in the gracile nucleus of the rats with EA stimulation. Neither nNOS immunostaining nor NADPH-diaphorase reactivity was altered in the nucleus tractus solitarius, rostral ventral medull and other brainstem nuclei in rats with EA stimulation. These results show that nNOS immunoreactivity and NADPH-diaphorase reactivity are consistently increased in the gracile nucleus by low-frequency EA applied to BL 64 and BL 65. We conclude that EA stimulation of the cutaneous hindlimb acupoints induces nNOS expression in the gracile nucleus, and enhanced nNOS-NO in the area may mediate somatosympathetic reflex activities, which contribute to therapeutic effects of acupuncture.

Key words: Electroacupuncture; Nitric oxide synthase; NADPH diaphorase; Immunohistochemistry; brainstem; gracile nucleus; rats

Acupuncture & Electro-Therapeutics Res., Int. J., Vol. 27, pp. 172-182, 2002
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Copyright © 2002 Cognizant Communication Corp.
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Is Acupuncture a Useful Tool for Paint Treatment in Ophthalmology?

Johannes Nepp, M.D., Kerstin Jandrasits, M.D., Joerg Schauersberger, M.D., Gebtraud Schild, M.D., and Andreas Wedrich, M.D., Professor
Division for Dry Eyes, Dept. Of Ophthalmology, University Vienna, Austria

Gräser Lang Sabine, M.D.
Dept. of Neurology, Hanusch KH, Vienna, Austria

Anna Spacek, M.D., Professor
Dept. of Anaesthesia, University Vienna, Austria

Pain that does not respond to conventional treatment procedures makes it necessary to look for alternative methods. Acupuncture is an ancient procedure with empirical effects on pain. Previous studies established the increased output of messengers at neuronal junctions in spinal cord and hypothalamic locations, especially of endorphins which inhibit the perception of pain. We treated several painful symptoms with acupuncture and evaluated the outcome of the treatment. Patients with various kinds of therapy-refractory pain and patients in whom conventional treatment methods could not be applied were included in the study. The diagnoses included glaucoma, Tolosa-Hunt Syndrome, ophthalmic migraine, blepharospasm, and dry eyes. In one case acupuncture was used for analgesia during surgery.  Acupuncture was performed with sterile disposable needles, at points known to have an empirical analgesic effect. The stimulation was adapted to the patient's individual needs. VAS assessments before and after acupuncture were compared. The t-test was used for statistical evaluation. Acupuncture had no side effects, but reduced pain to a variable extent. Especially in cases of severe pain and in surgery, very effective pain reduction was achieved. In general, pain was significantly reduced in all patients by the use of acupuncture. A statistically significant effect was noted (p<0.05). Further studies should be conducted to demonstrate the specific effect in larger patient populations. Monitoring neurotransmitter activity will possibly help to illustrate the effect.

Key words: Orbital pain; Therapy-resistance; Visual analog scale; Acupuncture

Acupuncture & Electro-Therapeutics Res., Int. J.., Vol. 27, pp. 183-189, 2002
0360-1293/02 $20.00 + .00
Copyright © 2002 Cognizant Communication Corp.
Printed in the USA

Differential Expression of Age-Related Genes in the Cerebrum of Senescence-Accelerated Mouse (SAMP10) and Analysis of Acupuncture Interference Using DD-PCR Technique

Jianchun Yu, M.D., Assistant Professor, Mingxia Lu, M.D., Assistant Professor, Tao Yu, M.D., Assistant Professor, and Jingxian Han, Professor

Gerontological Department, National Acupuncture and Moxibustion Clinical Research Center, No. 1 Teaching Hospital of Tianjin University of TCM

In this paper, we applied DD-PCR (differential display polymerase chain reaction) technique to analyze the differential expression of age-related genes in the cerebrum of senescence-accelerated mouse (SAMP10) and effect of acupuncture on them. The results showed that the expression levels of some genes either increased or decreased with increasing aging. It implies that they were probably related to accelerated senescence of SAMP10. Compared with the control group at the matched age, the expression levels of the genes of cerebrum of acupunctured mice were all affected after acupuncturing acupoints; the genes that over express with aging were down-regulated (acupuncture decreased the expression level of related genes) but that less express were up-regulated (acupuncture increased the expression level of related genes). These changes all showed a tendency towards expression level of the young mice. We observed for the first times at the transcriptional levels that the effect of acupuncture is the adjustment that probably interferes with the senescence process from whole body and proved also the acupoints have specificity of treating compared with non-acupoints.

Key words: DD-PCR; Acupuncture; Acupoints; Aging; SAMP10; Specificity of acupoint; Adjustment

Acupuncture & Electro-Therapeutics Res., Int. J., Vol. 27, pp. 192-202, 2002
0360-1293/02 $20.00 + .00
Copyright © 2002 Cognizant Communication Corp.
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Effect of Electroacupuncture and Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation at Hegu (LI.4) Acupuncture Point on the Cutaneous Reflex

Qwang-Yuen Chang, M.D., M.Sc. (Med.),1,2 Jaung-Geng Lin, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Acupuncture,1,3 Ching-Liang Hsieh, M.D., Ph.D., Professor Neurology4,5

1Institute of Chinese Medical Science, China Medical College, 91 Hseuh-Shin Road, Taichung, Taiwan, R.O.C.
2Department of Family Medicine, Taichung Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan, R.O.C.
3Acupuncture Research Center, China Medical College, 91 Hseuh-Shin Road, Taichung, Taiwan, R.O.C.
4Internal Medicine Section of Chinese Medicine Department, China Medical College Hospital, 2, Yuh-Der Road, Taichung, Taiwan, R.O.C.
5Institute of Integration Chinese and Western Medicine, China Medical College Hospital, 2, Yuh-Der Road, Taichung, Taiwan, R.O.C.

Our previous studies have shown that the cerebral cortex plays a modulator role in the physiological mechanisms of acupuncture and 2Hz electroacupuncture (EA), but either acupuncture or 2Hz EA appeared to have very little effect on spinal cord. However, 2Hz or 100 Hz transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) applied to Hegu acupuncture point (LI.4) can increase the amplitude of the H-reflex, whereas manual acupuncture has no similar effect. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to further investigate the effect of 2hz EA, 2Hz or 100 Hz TENS on cutaneous reflex (CR). A total of 13 healthy adult volunteers were studies. CR recordings were obtained on the right first dorsal interosseous muscle by electrical stimulation of the ipsilateral index finger. 2Hz EA, 2Hz or 100 Hz TENS was applied to the surface of the left LI.4, and then the changes of CR were observed. The results indicated that CR was characterized by an initial short latency excitatory wave (E1), followed by an inhibitory wave (I1), then a long latency excitatory wave (E2). Both 2Hz EA and 2Hz TENS applied to the surface of the left LI.4 could prolong the latencies of I1 component of CR, whereas 100Hz TENS has no similar effect. In addition, either EA or TENS could not change the latencies of E1, E2 component and the amplitudes of I1, E2 component of CR. In conclusion, 2Hz EA or 2HZ TENS applied to the LI.4 prolonged the latencies of I1 component of CR, suggesting that the action site of 2Hz EA or 2Hz TENS located in the supraspinal, possibly in the subcortical or cortical level. In addition, the electrical stimulation of higher frequency such as 100 Hz TENS acting on CR caused habituation easier.

Key words: Cutaneous reflex; Electroacupuncture; Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation; 2Hz; 100hz