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Gastroenterol Res Pract. 2019 Feb 7;2019:2345890. doi: 10.1155/2019/2345890. eCollection 2019.

Electroacupuncture and Moxibustion Improved Anxiety Behavior in DSS-Induced Colitis Mice.

Author information

1
Acupuncture and Tuina School, Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chengdu, Sichuan 610075, China.
2
Pharmacy School, Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chengdu, Sichuan 610075, China.

Abstract

Background and Aims:

Psychological disorders are prevalent in patients with inflammatory bowel disease, but the underlying mechanisms remain unknown. The aim of this study was to study whether electroacupuncture (EA) and moxibustion (MB) can improve anxiety behavior in DSS-induced colitis mice and to investigate whether this effect is related to hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis.

Methods:

The colitis model was established by drinking 2.5% dextran sodium sulfate (DSS). DSS-induced colitis mice were treated by EA or MB. Disease activity index (DAI) was scored; intestinal morphological and pathological structure was observed; anxiety behavior was tested by the elevated plus maze and open field. The concentration of corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) and cortisol (CORT) in serum was measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The protein expression of CRH in the colon and hypothalamus was detected by Western blot (WB).

Results:

Both EA and MB treatments can improvethe morphology of their distal colonic mucosal epithelia, as well as the disease activity index. Meanwhile, anxiety behavior in colitis mice was improved slightly after EA and MB treatment. In addition, the levels of CRH and CORT in the serum were slightly improved after EA and MB treatment. These effects are further supported by WB results. The expression of CRH in the colon and hypothalamus was increased significantly after treatment, compared with the model group.

Conclusion:

EA and MB were able to regulate the concentration of CRH in serum and protein expression in the peripheral and central at different levels and promote the recovery of the HPA axis that may be the basis for EA and MB to improve colonic pathology and alleviate anxiety behavior in DSS-induced colitis.

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