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Zhen Ci Yan Jiu. 2011 Oct;36(5):366-72.

[Electroacupuncture at Guanyuan (CV 4) and Zhongwan (CV 12) modulates functional connectivity of the brain network in healthy volunteers].

[Article in Chinese]

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Department of Radiation, Guang'anmen Hospital Affiliated to China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing 100053, China.



To observe the specific brain effects of electroacupuncture (EA) stimulation of Guanyuan (CV 4) and Zhongwan (CV 12).


Twenty-one healthy volunteers were recruited in the present study. Two silver filiform needles were separately inserted into Guanyuan (OV 4) or Zhongwan (CV 12), and manipulated with uniform reducing-reinforcing method to induce "Deqi". fMRI scan was performed before needling, during needle retention, EA stimulation, and post-EA. Data of fMRI was analyzed by using software SPM 2. The volunteer subjective needling sensations were recorded. The activation, deactivation, short-distance and long-distance functional connectivity maps of different cerebral regions were analyzed by using whole brain correlation analysis.


Comparison between the two acupoints showed that fullness feeling was stronger in CV 4 than in CV 12. EA at CV 4 and CV 12 induced a similar stronger and prevalent deactivation in the ventral medial prefrontal cortex and the anterior cingulated cortex (ACO). The deactivation of the ACC was stronger in the CV 4 group than in the CV 12 group. The default BOLD mode of the brain at rest was modified by needle retention and EA, respectively. The short-distance functional connection brain network was significantly changed after EA. Interestingly, the ventral medial prefrontal cortex and anteroinferior portion of the anterior cingulate cortex in the limbic-paralimbic-neocortical network (LPNN) were involved in the instant post-effects of EA. Relatively smaller differences in the brain functional activity and short-distance functional connectivity were found between these two acupoints.


EA of CV 4 and CV 12 can modulate short-distance functional connectivity of the LPNN, and have fewer differences in inducing needling sensation and deactivation of ACC, etc.

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