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Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2017;2017:6578621. doi: 10.1155/2017/6578621. Epub 2017 May 30.

Mechanical Stimulation of the HT7 Acupuncture Point to Reduce Ethanol Self-Administration in Rats.

Author information

1
KM Fundamental Research Division, Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine, Daejeon 34054, Republic of Korea.
2
Department of Meridians & Acupoints, College of Oriental Medicine, Wonkwang University, Iksan 54538, Republic of Korea.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Alcoholism, which is a disabling addiction disorder, is a major public health problem worldwide. The present study was designed to determine whether the application of acupuncture at the Shenmen (HT7) point suppresses voluntary alcohol consumption in addicted rats and whether this suppressive effect is potentiated by the administration of naltrexone.

METHODS:

Rats were initially trained to self-administer a sucrose solution by operating a lever. A mechanical acupuncture instrument (MAI) for objective mechanical stimulation was used on rats whose baseline response had been determined. In addition, the effect of HT7 acupuncture on beta-endorphin concentration and ethanol intake via naltrexone were investigated in different groups.

RESULTS:

We found that ethanol intake and beta-endorphin level in rats being treated with the MAI at the HT7 point reduced significantly. The treatment of naltrexone at high doses reduced the ethanol intake and low-dose injection of naltrexone in conjunction with the MAI also suppressed ethanol intake.

CONCLUSIONS:

The results of the current study indicate that using the MAI at the HT7 point effectively reduces ethanol consumption in rats. Furthermore, the coadministration of the MAI and a low dose of naltrexone can produce some more potent reducing effect of ethanol intake than can acupuncture alone.

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