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Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine ›› 2008, Vol. 6 ›› Issue (1): 89-92.doi: 10.3736/jcim20080117

Special Issue: Acupuncture & Moxibustion

• Original Experimental Research • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Effect of electro-acupuncture at Fenglong (GV 16) on nitric oxide and endothelin in rats with hyperlipidemia

Li Zhou(), Hong-xing Zhang, Ling-guang Liu, Wen-jun Wan   

  1. Department of Acupuncture and Moxibustion, Wuhan Chinese and Western Medicine Hospital, Wuhan, Hubei Province 430022, China
  • Received:2007-03-05 Online:2008-01-20 Published:2008-01-15
  • Contact: ZHOU Li

Objective:To investigate the effect of electro-acupuncture (EA) at Fenglong (GV 16) on body weight, blood lipids, nitric oxide (NO) and endothelin (ET) in rats with hyperlipidemia (HLP).

Methods:Eighty Wistar rats were randomly divided into normal control group (fed normal diet), untreated group (fed a high-fat diet), EA-treated group (fed a high-fat diet plus EA therapy) and pravastatin-treated group (fed a high-fat diet plus pravastatin tablet). There were 20 rats in each group. The body weight and the blood content of total cholesterol (TC), triacylglycerol (TG), high density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-C), low density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-C), NO the and ET of the rats in different groups were measured before experiment and after 30-day treatment. A modified method of cardiac puncture for blood sampling was used for blood collection.

Results:Compared with the normal control group, the body weight and the levels of TC, TG, LDL-C and ET in the untreated group were significantly elevated (P<0.01, P<0.05), while the levels of HDL-C and NO were obviously decreased (P<0.05). The body weight and the levels of TC, TG, LDL-C demonstrated significant reduction in pravastatin-treated group and EA-treated group as compared with the untreated group (P<0.01), and the NO content in pravastatin-treated group and EA-treated group was higher than that in the untreated group (P<0.01). Compared with the untreated group, HDL-C level was elevated significantly in pravastatin-treated group, while HDL-C level in EA-treated group was not changed significantly, and there was significant difference in the HDL-C level between pravastatin-treated group and EA-treated group (P<0.01). The level of ET was decreased obviously in pravastatin-treated group (P<0.05), while the level of ET in EA-treated group was not changed significantly (P>0.05).

Conclusions:Both EA therapy and pravastatin have efficient regulation of body weight and the content of TC, TG, LDL-C and NO in HLP rats. To some extent, they are able to regulate the imbalance between ET and NO content under the condition of HLP. Western medicine such as pravastatin can regulate the HDL-C level in HLP rats, while the effect of EA therapy on regulation of the HDL-C level is limited.

Key words: hyperlipidemia, electro-acupuncture, Fenglong, nitric oxide, endothelin

CLC Number: 

  • R589.21

Table 1

Body weight of rats in different groups ($\bar{x}$±s, g)"

Group n Body weight
Normal control 20 249.70±31.79
Untreated 20 316.73±20.51**
Pravastatin-treated 18 266.67±51.14△△
Electro-acupuncture-treated 17 260.26±54.98△△

Table 2

Content of TC, TG, HDL-C and LDL-C of rats in different groups ($\bar{x}$±s, mmol/L)"

Normal control 20 1.98±0.30 0.83±0.27 1.49±0.22 0.35±0.18
Untreated 20 2.45±0.56** 1.34±0.36** 1.28±0.16* 0.64±0.26**
Pravastatin-treated 18 2.10±0.52△△ 0.81±0.30△△ 1.79±0.41△△ 0.23±0.10△△
Electro-acupuncture-treated 17 1.82±0.72△△ 0.78±0.49△△ 1.50±0.33▲▲ 0.22±0.05△△

Table 3

Content of plasma ET and NO of rats in different groups ($\bar{x}$±s)"

Group n NO (μmol/L) ET (ng/L)
Normal control 20 112.08±46.20 95.45±51.36
Untreated 20 96.46±54.68* 103.09±62.45*
Pravastatin-treated 18 174.07±95.84△△ 61.67±42.58
Electro-acupuncture-treated 17 171.08±97.91△△ 75.24±38.20
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