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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2011, Article ID 812160, 6 pages
Original Article

Pulse Width Modulation Electro-Acupuncture on Cardiovascular Remodeling and Plasma Nitric Oxide in Spontaneously Hypertensive Rats

1Department of Biomedical Engineering, Zhongshan School of Medicine, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China
2Guangzhou Red Cross Hospital, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China
3School of Biomedical Sciences, Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga, NSW 2678, Australia

Received 24 November 2009; Accepted 12 April 2010

Copyright © 2011 Xuan Xiong 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.


This study was designed to investigate the effect of pulse width modulation electro-acupuncture (PWM-EA) on cardiovascular remodeling and nitric oxide (NO) in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR). Thirty-four male SHR were randomly divided into control, captopril, and two PWM-EA groups, which were treated with 350 Hz (SHR-350 Hz) and whole audio bandwith electro-acupuncture (SHR-WAB group) respectively, on the ST 36 point located on the outside of the hind leg. Systolic blood pressure (BP), plasma and myocardial NO were measured. Histological studies were also performed on the aortic wall and the left ventricle. The BP in the SHR-350 Hz, SHR-WAB and the captopril groups was lower than in the control group following the treatment (P < .05). The average aortic media wall thickness in the two electro-acupuncture groups was less than in the control group (P < .05). The left ventricle/heart weight ratio in the captopril and SHR-350 Hz groups was less than in the control group (P < .01), but was similar between the SHR-WAB and the control group (P > .05). The plasma and myocardium NO levels were elevated in the captopril and the SHR-350 Hz group (P < .05 and .01, resp.). The plasma level of NO in the SHR-WAB group was also higher than in the control group (P < .05). We concluded that pulse width modulation electro-acupuncture on the ST 36 point prevents the progression of hypertension and diminishes the cardiovascular remodeling in SHR. It also elevates plasma and cardiac NO in this animal model.