Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 476457, 9 pages
Research Article

Effects of Electroacupuncture of Different Frequencies on the Release Profile of Endogenous Opioid Peptides in the Central Nerve System of Goats

College of Veterinary Medicine, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan 430070, China

Received 25 July 2012; Revised 11 September 2012; Accepted 15 September 2012

Academic Editor: Wolfgang Schwarz

Copyright © 2012 Li-Li Cheng 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.


To investigate the release profile of met-enkephalin, β-endorphin, and dynorphin-A in ruminants’ CNS, goats were stimulated by electroacupuncture of 0, 2, 40, 60, 80, or 100 Hz for 30 min. The pain threshold was measured using potassium iontophoresis. The peptide levels were determined with SABC immunohistochemisty. The results showed that 60 Hz increased pain threshold by 91%; its increasing rate was higher ( ) than any other frequency did. 2 Hz and 100 Hz increased met-enkephalin immunoactivities ( ) in nucleus accumbens, septal area, caudate nucleus, amygdala, paraventricular nucleus of hypothalamus, periaqueductal gray, dorsal raphe nucleus, and locus ceruleus. The two frequencies elicited β-endorphin release ( ) in nucleus accumbens, septal area, supraoptic nucleus, ventromedial nucleus of hypothalamus, periaqueductal gray, dorsal raphe nucleus, locus ceruleus, solitary nucleus and amygdala. 60 Hz increased ( ) met-enkephalin or β-endorphin immunoactivities in the nuclei and areas mentioned above, and habenular nucleus, substantia nigra, parabrachial nucleus, and nucleus raphe magnus. High frequencies increased dynorphin-A release ( ) in spinal cord dorsal horn and most analgesia-related nuclei. It suggested that 60 Hz induced the simultaneous release of the three peptides in extensive analgesia-related nuclei and areas of the CNS, which may be contributive to optimal analgesic effects and species variation.