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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2011, Article ID 730514, 6 pages
Original Article

Electroacupuncture of 2 Hz Has a Rewarding Effect: Evidence from a Conditioned Place Preference Study in Rats

Department of Neurobiology, Neuroscience Research Institute, School of Basic Medical Sciences, Peking University, Key Lab for Neuroscience of the Ministry of Education and Key Lab for Neuroscience, Ministry of Public Health, 38 Xueyuan Road, Beijing 10019, China

Received 6 November 2007; Accepted 23 May 2008

Copyright © 2011 Wei Xia et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Electroacupuncture (EA) has been used to suppress heroin craving in addicts and the conditioned place preference (CPP) for morphine in the rat. The question remained whether EA by itself will produce some rewarding effect. This was investigated using the CPP procedure in the present study. The results indicated that rats showed a significant preference to the 2 Hz EA-paired compartment. This rewarding effect of EA was prevented by pre-treatment with the opioid receptor antagonist naloxone [2 mg kg−1, intraperitoneally (i.p.)], CB1 cannabinoid antagonist AM251 (3 μg per rat, intracerebroventricularly) or D1 dopamine receptor antagonist SCH23390 (0.1 mg kg−1, i.p.), respectively. TempspacetempspaceIt is concluded that 2 Hz EA is capable of inducing CPP in the rat via the activation of the endogenous opioid-, cannabinoid- and dopamine-systems.