[Chang, XR] Hunan Univ Chinese Med, Coll Acupuncture & Tuina, Changsha 410007, Hunan, Peoples R China.
pre-moxibustion;transection of neural pathway;Zusanli (ST36);gastric mucosal lesion;heat shock proteins-70;ulcer index;traditional Chinese medicine;neural regeneration
Studies have shown that pre-moxibustion protects the gastric mucosa by up-regulating the expression of heat shock protein 70. However, the signaling pathway underlying this effect remains unclear. Rats were intragastrically administered absolute alcohol, causing obvious lesion of the gastric mucosa. Following pre-moxibustion at Zusanli (ST36) for 8 days, the ulcer index decreased to different degrees. The results of an enzyme linked immunosorbent assay and western blotting showed significant upregulation of heat shock protein 70 expression in the gastric mucosa and serum. None out of transection of the spinal cord, damage to the nucleus of the solitary tract, neurotomy of the vagal nerve and neurotomy of the common peroneal nerve affected the decrease in ulcer index or the increase in heat shock protein 70 expression in serum after pre-moxibustion at Zusanli, and heat shock protein 70 expression was obviously decreased in the gastric mucosa. These findings suggest that pre-moxibustion at Zusanli can protect the gastric mucosa against lesioning, and that the mechanism underlying this effect involves its induction of heat shock protein 70 expression. Neural pathways participate in the regulatory effects of moxibustion on heat shock protein 70 expression in the gastric mucosa.
Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine therapy that has been found useful for treating various diseases. The treatments involve the insertion of fine needles at acupoints along specific meridians (meridian specificity). This study aims to investigate the metabolic basis of meridian specificity using proton nuclear magnetic resonance (H-1 NMR)-based metabolomics. Electro-acupuncture (EA) stimulations were performed at acupoints of either Stomach Meridian of Foot-Yangming (SMFY) or Gallbladder Meridian of Foot-Shaoyang (GMFS) in healthy male Sprague Dawley (SD) rats. H-1-NMR spectra datasets of serum, urine, cortex, and stomach tissue extracts from the rats were analysed by multivariate statistical analysis to investigate metabolic perturbations due to EA treatments at different meridians. EA treatment on either the SMFY or GMFS acupoints induced significant variations in 31 metabolites, e.g., amino acids, organic acids, choline esters and glucose. Moreover, a few meridian-specific metabolic changes were found for EA stimulations on the SMFY or GMFS acupoints. Our study demonstrated significant metabolic differences in response to EA stimulations on acupoints of SMFY and GMFS meridians. These results validate the hypothesis that meridian specificity in acupuncture is detectable in the metabolome and demonstrate the feasibility and effectiveness of a metabolomics approach in understanding the mechanism of acupuncture.