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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 810512, 6 pages
Research Article

In Adjuvant-Induced Arthritic Rats, Acupuncture Analgesic Effects Are Histamine Dependent: Potential Reasons for Acupoint Preference in Clinical Practice

1Department of Mechanics and Engineering Science, Fudan University, Shanghai 200433, China
2Shanghai Research Center for Acupuncture and Meridians, Shanghai 201203, China
3College of Acupuncture and Moxibustion, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 201203, China
4Medical School, Fudan University, Shanghai 200433, China

Received 18 August 2012; Accepted 27 September 2012

Academic Editor: Ying Xia

Copyright © 2012 Meng Huang 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 investigated whether immediate acupuncture effects in the acupoint are histamine dependent. Both histamine injection and manual acupuncture stimulation increased the pain threshold (PT) after treatment compared with the model group ( ), producing an analgesic effect. After pretreatment with clemastine, an H1 receptor antagonist and an antipruritic, the increase in the animals’ pain threshold after acupuncture was suppressed compared with the Acu group ( ); however, there was no interference with the acupuncture-induced degranulation of mast cells. Pretreatment with disodium cromolyn did not suppress the increase in PT induced by the histamine injection at Zusanli (ST-36). We conclude that in adjuvant-induced arthritic rats, acupuncture analgesic effects are histamine dependent, and this histamine dependence determines the acupoint preference of acupoints away from the target site in acupuncture practice.