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Hepatogastroenterology. 2007 Sep;54(78):1862-7.

Electro-acupuncture of Tsusanli and Shangchuhsu regulates gastric activity possibly through mediation of the vagus-solotary complex.

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Department of Gastroenterology, Tangdu Hospital, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi'an, China.



Acupuncture has been reportedly used to treat gastrointestinal diseases, however, its precise mechanism remains unknown.


In our study, the effects and mechanism of electro-acupuncture (EA) at Tsusanli (ST 36), Shangchuhsu (ST 37) on regulation of gastric activity were observed.


EA at Tsusanli showed that gastric electric change was the most obvious, with significantly higher frequency and wave amplitude compared with that of the Shangchuhsu group and other groups. EA at Shangchuhsu demonstrated that the change of gastric electric level was much higher than that of the non-acupoint group and control group. After bilateral vagotomy, Tsusanlis was electro-acupunctured, the changes of electro-gastric graph (EGG) weren't significant with the control group. The frequency of electro-physiological activity in nucleus of solitary tract (NTS) and dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus nerve (DMV) in the Tsusanli group was markedly increased compared with that in the other group. Fos and GFAP expression in NTS and DMV in the Tsusanli group was significantly higher than that in other groups and control group. The results have indicated that EA at Tsusanli and Shangchuhsu cannot only regulate gastric activity, but also activate neurons and astrocytes in NTS and DMV. The effects on regulation and activation of EA at Tsusanli were very obvious.


Our study suggests that this electroacupuncture regulation of gastric activity may partially depend upon integrated nerve pathway and related central neurons and astrocytes in the vagus-solitary complex.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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