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Neurosci Lett. 2009 Feb 20;451(2):144-7. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2008.12.026. Epub 2008 Dec 24.

Suspended moxibustion relieves chronic visceral hyperalgesia via serotonin pathway in the colon.

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Key Laboratory of Acupuncture-Moxibustion and Immunological Effects, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, 650 South WanPing Road, XuHui District, Shanghai 200030, PR China.


Experiments in rats have shown that chronic visceral hyperalgesia can be relieved by electro-acupuncture, but the efficacy of suspended moxibustion for relieving chronic visceral hyperalgesia is still unclear. The present study aimed to evaluate the effect of suspended moxibustion on rectal sensory thresholds and to analyze its possible mechanisms when treating chronic visceral hypersensitivity rats. Suspended moxibustion was administered once daily to 37-day-old chronic visceral hypersensitivity rats for 7 days. The two acupoints (ST25, bilateral) were simultaneously given suspended moxibustion. Each treatment lasted for 15 min. Rats in treatment of suspended moxibustion was not anesthetized. Untreated chronic visceral hypersensitivity rats and normal rats were used as controls. The abdominal withdrawal reflex was determined during 30-90 min after the first treatment. A 5-cm long segment of distal colon was harvested after seven treatments and 5-hydroxytryptamine concentrations in the colon were assayed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Abdominal withdrawal reflex scores from the rectus abdominis in response to colorectal distention were increased in rats with chronic visceral hypersensitivity, and the stimulation at strength of 20 mmHg was significantly depressed by suspended moxibustion. Suspended moxibustion increased the pain threshold and restored normal sensitivity by reducing 5-hydroxytryptamine concentrations in the colon of chronic visceral hypersensitivity rats.

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