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J Acupunct Res > Volume 33(1); 2016 > Article
Hong, Lee, and Kang: The Effect of Low Frequency Electro-acupuncture at ST39 on Intestinal Motility in Rats

Abstract

Objectives:

The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of low frequency electro-acupuncture at ST39 on intestinal motility in rats.

Methods:

Intestinal hypermotility and hypomotility in rats were induced by oral carbachol ingestion and loperamide injection. Rats were divided into seventeen experimental groups including the normal and holder groups. The rats were induced with intestinal hypermotility and hypomotility and divided into pre and post-treatment groups. I also carried out acupuncture (needle retention) and low frequency electro-acupuncture at ST39 or the sham point. I fed charcoal to rats after the treatment and calculated its distance travelled in the gastrointestinal tract, which was compared by groups so as to determine which treatment was more effective in increasing or decreasing intestinal motility.

Results:

  1. In normal rats low frequency electro-acupuncture at ST39 showed no significant effect on intestinal motility

  2. Pre-treatment with acupuncture (needle retention) at ST39 on intestinal motility over-activated with carbachol significantly decreased intestinal motility in rats.

  3. Pre-treatment with low frequency electro-acupuncture at ST39 on intestinal motility over-activated with carbachol significantly decreased intestinal motility in rats.

  4. Pre-treatment with acupuncture (needle retention and low frequency electro-acupuncture) at ST39 showed no significant effect on intestinal hypomotility in rats that was induced by loperamide injection.

Conclusions:

These results suggest that acupuncture (needle retention) and low frequency electro-acupuncture at ST39 have preventive effects on intestinal hypermotility. Regardless of the stimulation method ST39 showed an effect on intestinal motility. Further study is required to confirm other effects of ST39.

Fig. 1
Effects of low frequency electro-acupuncture at ST39 on intestinal motility of rat in normal state
Data were expressed as mean±SD (n=6).
Normal: normal SD rat.
Holder: restrained in the holder.
N-ST39-EA(L): treated with low frequency (2 Hz) EA at left ST39 for 15 min.
acup-33-1-9f1.jpg
Fig. 2
Effect of carbachol on intestinal motility of rat
Data were expressed as mean±SD (n=6).
Normal: normal SD rat.
Holder: restrained in the holder.
C-Control: administered with carbachol (0.5 mg/kg).
*: p<0.01 compared to normal group.
†: p<0.01 compared to holder group.
acup-33-1-9f2.gif
Fig. 3
Effect of loperamide on intestinal motility of rat
Data were expressed as mean±SD (n=6).
Normal: normal SD rat.
Holder: restrained in the holder.
L-Control: injected with loperamide (0.5 mg/kg).
*: p<0.01 compared to normal group.
†: p<0.01 compared to holder group.
acup-33-1-9f3.gif
Fig. 4
Effect of pre-treatment of EA(L) at ST39 on intestinal motility over-activated with carbachol in rat
Data were expressed as mean±SD (n=6).
Holder: restrained in the holder.
C-Control: administered with carbachol (0.5 mg/kg).
Sham-EA(L)-C: treated with 2 Hz EA at sham point and carbachol (0.5 mg/kg).
ST39-NR-C: treated with NR at left ST39 and carbachol (0.5 mg/kg).
ST39-EA(L)-C: treated with 2 Hz EA at left ST39 and carbachol (0.5 mg/kg).
*: p<0.01 compared to holder group.
†: p<0.01.
‡: p<0.05 compared to C-control group.
§: p<0.05 compared to Sham-EA(L)-C group.
acup-33-1-9f4.gif
Fig. 5
Effect of post-treatment of EA(L) at ST39 on intestinal motility over-activated with carbachol in rat
Data were expressed as mean±SD (n=6).
Holder: restrained in the holder.
C-Control: administered with carbachol (0.5 mg/kg).
C-Sham-EA(L): treated with carbachol (0.5 mg/kg) and 2 Hz EA at sham point.
C-ST39-NR: treated with carbachol (0.5 mg/kg) and NR at left ST39.
C-ST39-EA(L): treated with carbachol (0.5 mg/kg) and 2 Hz EA at left ST39.
*: p<0.01.
†: p<0.05 compared to holder group.
acup-33-1-9f5.gif
Fig. 6
Effects of pre-treatment and post-treatment of EA(L) at ST39 on intestinal motility over-activated with carbachol in rat
Data were expressed as mean±SD (n=6).
Holder: restrained in the holder.
C-Control: administered with carbachol (0.5 mg/kg).
C-ST39-EA(L): treated with carbachol (0.5 mg/kg) and 2 Hz EA at left ST39.
ST39-EA(L)-C: treated with 2 Hz EA at left ST39 and carbachol (0.5 mg/kg).
*: p<0.01 compared to holder group.
†: p<0.01 compared to C-control group.
‡: p<0.05 compared to C-ST39-EA(L) group.
acup-33-1-9f6.gif
Fig. 7
Effect of pre-treatment of EA(L) at ST39 on intestinal motility suppressed with loperamide in rat
Data were expressed as mean±SD (n=6).
Holder: restrained in the holder.
L-Control: injected with loperamide (0.5 mg/kg).
Sham-EA(L)-L: treated with 2 Hz EA at sham point and loperamide (0.5 mg/kg).
ST39-NR-L: treated with NR at left ST39 and loperamide (0.5 mg/kg).
ST39-EA(L)-L: treated with 2 Hz EA at left ST39 and loperamide (0.5 mg/kg)
*: p<0.01.
†: p<0.05 compared to holder group.
‡: p<0.05 compared to L-control group.
§: p<0.05 compared to Sham-EA(L)-L group.
acup-33-1-9f7.gif
Fig. 8
Effect of post-treatment of EA(L) at ST39 on intestinal motility suppressed with loperamide in rat
Data were expressed as mean±SD (n=6).
Holder: restrained in the holder.
L-Control: injected with loperamide (0.5 mg/kg).
L-Sham-EA(L): treated with loperamide (0.5 mg/kg) and 2 Hz EA at sham point.
L-ST39-NR: treated with loperamide (0.5 mg/kg) and NR at left ST39.
L-ST39-EA(L): treated with loperamide (0.5 mg/kg) and 2 Hz EA at left ST39.
*: p<0.01.
†: p<0.05 compared to holder group.
‡: p<0.05 compared to L-control group.
acup-33-1-9f8.gif
Fig. 9
Effects of pre-treatment and post-treatment of EA(L) at ST39 on intestinal motility suppressed with loperamide in rat
Data were expressed as mean±SD (n=6).
Holder: restrained in the holder.
L-Control: injected with loperamide (0.5 mg/kg).
ST39-EA(L)-L: treated with 2 Hz EA at left ST39 and loperamide (0.5 mg/kg).
L-ST39-EA(L): treated with loperamide (0.5 mg/kg) and 2 Hz EA at left ST39.
*: p<0.05 compared to holder group.
acup-33-1-9f9.gif
Scheme 1
Pre-treatment of NR or EA at ST39 or sham
acup-33-1-9scheme1.gif
Scheme 2
Post-treatment of NR or EA at ST39 or sham
acup-33-1-9scheme2.gif
Table 1
Reagents
Reagent Name manufacturer Country
Ethyl ether Samchun Chemical Korea
Chacoal

Loperamide Sigma USA
Carbachol
Saline
Tween 80
Table 2
Instruments
Device name manufacturer Country
Scale Munhaw
Stainless still Dong Bang
Acupuncture Co
Korea

Electric stimulator(PG-6) Ito Co Japan
Table 3
Effects of low frequency electro-acupuncture at ST39 on intestinal motility of rat in normal state
Group Charcoal travel rate (%)
Normal 49.480±5.513
Holder 50.934±8.084
N-ST39-EA(L) 49.502±4.193

SD rats were treated with low frequency (2 Hz) electro-acupuncture (EA) at left ST39 for 15 min, and the charcoal meal was administered. The animals were sacrificed 25 min after the charcoal meal administration. And the intestinal motility was determined by calculating the percentage of travel length of charcoal to total length of intestine. Data were expressed as mean±SD (n=6).

Normal: normal SD rat.

Holder: restrained in the holder.

N-ST39-EA(L): treated with low frequency (2 Hz) EA at left ST39 for 15 min.

Table 4
Effects of carbachol on intestinal motility of rat
Group Charcoal travel rate (%)
Normal 49.480±5.513
Holder 50.934±8.084
C-Control 67.786±7.119

SD rats were orally administered with carbachol (0.5 mg/kg) 15 min before charcoal meal administration. The animals were sacrificed 25 min after the charcoal meal administration. And the intestinal motility was determined by calculating the percentage of travel length of charcoal to total length of intestine. Data were expressed as mean±SD (n=6).

Normal: normal SD rat.

Holder: restrained in the holder.

C-Control: administered with carbachol (0.5 mg/kg).

Table 5
Effect of loperamide on intestinal motility of rat
Group Charcoal travel rate (%)
Normal 49.480±5.513
Holder 50.934±8.084
L-Control 33.845±4457

SD rats were subcutaneously injected with loperamide(0.5 mg/kg) 15 min before charcoal meal administration. The animals were sacrificed 25 min after the charcoal meal administration. And the intestinal motility was determined by calculating the percentage of travel length of charcoal to total length of intestine. Data were expressed as mean±SD (n=6).

Normal: normal SD rat.

Holder: restrained in the holder.

L-Control: injected with loperamide (0.5 mg/kg).

Table 6
Effects of low frequency electro-acupuncture at ST39 on intestinal motility over-activated with carbachol in rat
Group Charcoal travel rate (%)
Holder 50.934±8.084
C-control 67.786±7.119
ST39-NR-C 43.604±5.964
C-ST39-NR 64.873±10.743
Sham-EA(L)-C 55.957±7.939
ST39-EA(L)-C 44.462±3.182
C-Sham-EA(L) 66.912±9.906
C-ST39-EA(L) 62.482±11.34

SD rats were acupunctured at left ST39 or sham point and electrically stimulated at 2 Hz for 15 min. Carbachol (0.5 mg/kg) was orally administered to activate the intestinal motility. The animals were sacrificed 25 min after the charcoal meal administration. And the intestinal motility was determined by calculating the percentage of travel length of charcoal to total length of intestine. Data were expressed as mean±SD (n=6).

Holder: restrained in the holder.

C-Control: administered with carbachol (0.5 mg/kg).

ST39-NR-C: treated with NR at left ST39 and carbachol (0.5 mg/kg).

C-ST39-NR: treated with carbachol (0.5 mg/kg) and NR at left ST39.

Sham-EA(L)-C: treated with 2 Hz EA at sham point and carbachol (0.5 mg/kg).

ST39-EA(L)-C: treated with 2 Hz EA at left ST39 and carbachol (0.5 mg/kg).

C-Sham-EA(L): treated with carbachol (0.5 mg/kg) and 2 Hz EA at sham point.

C-ST39-EA(L): treated with carbachol (0.5 mg/kg) and 2 Hz EA at left ST39.

Table 7
Effects of low frequency electro-acupuncture at ST39 on intestinal motility suppressed with loperamide in rat.
Group Charcoal travel rate (%)
Holder 50.934±8.084
L-control 33.845±4.457
ST39-NR-L 30.330±4.799
L-ST39-NR 26.283±9.531
Sham-EA(L)-L 21.070±3.085
ST39-EA(L)-L 32.581 ±9.459
L-Sham-EA(L) 24.979±6.883
L-ST39-EA(L) 36.638±12.012

SD rats were acupunctured at left ST39 or sham point and electrically stimulated at 2 Hz for 15 min. Loperamide (0.5 mg/kg) was subcutaneously injected to suppress the intestinal motility. The animals were sacrificed 25 min after the charcoal meal administration. And the intestinal motility was determined by calculating the percentage of travel length of charcoal to total length of intestine. Data were expressed as mean±SD (n=6).

Holder: restrained in the holder.

L-Control: injected with loperamide (0.5 mg/kg).

ST39-NR-L: treated with NR at left ST39 and loperamide (0.5 mg/kg).

L-ST39-NR: treated with loperamide (0.5 mg/kg) and NR at left ST39.

Sham-EA(L)-L: treated with 2 Hz EA at sham point and loperamide (0.5 mg/kg).

ST39-EA(L)-L: treated with 2 Hz EA at left ST39 and loperamide (0.5 mg/kg).

L-Sham-EA(L): treated with loperamide (0.5 mg/kg) and 2 Hz EA at sham point.

L-ST39-EA(L): treated with loperamide (0.5 mg/kg) and 2 Hz EA at left ST39.

VI.
VI.

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