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J Altern Complement Med. 2005 Feb;11(1):135-42.

Electroacupuncture attenuates inflammation in a rat model.

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  • 1Center for Integrative Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Acupuncture has traditionally been used in China and is being increasingly applied in Western countries to treat a variety of conditions, including inflammatory disease. However, clinical trials investigating the effectiveness of the anti-inflammatory effects of acupuncture have yielded inconsistent results, and the underlying mechanisms of acupuncture-produced anti-inflammation are unclear.

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate the effectiveness of electroacupuncture (EA) on inflammation in a rat model.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

Four experiments were conducted on male Sprague-Dawley rats (n = 8-9 per group). Inflammation was induced by injecting complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA) subcutaneously into the plantar surface of one hind paw of the rat. Experiment 1: To determine the effect of EA (10 and 100 Hz) versus sham treatment on inflammation. Experiment 2: To investigate the involvement of the adrenal glands on the effect of EA treatment using adrenalectomized (ADX) rats. Experiment 3: To determine the effects of EA on plasma levels of corticosterone. Experiment 4: To determine the effects of EA treatment versus immobilization on such stress indicators as heart rate and blood pressure.

RESULTS:

At 10 Hz EA significantly reduced CFA-induced hind paw edema. The effect was partially blocked in the ADX rats. EA significantly increased plasma levels of corticosterone but produced no noticeable signs of stress.

CONCLUSION:

At 10 Hz but not 100 Hz, EA suppresses inflammation by activating the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA) and the nervous system.

PMID:
15750372
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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