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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2014, Article ID 431580, 9 pages
Research Article

Neuroprotective Effects of Different Modalities of Acupuncture on Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury in Rats

1Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University, Donghu Road, Wuhan, Hubei, China
2Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Wenzhou Medical University, Xueyuan Road, Wenzhou, Zhejiang, China
3Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Zhejiang Hospital, Lingyin Road, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China
4Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Zhejiang Provincial People's Hospital, Shangtang Road, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China

Received 1 September 2013; Revised 29 January 2014; Accepted 16 February 2014; Published 3 April 2014

Academic Editor: Sven Schröder

Copyright © 2014 Song-he Jiang 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.


Spinal cord injury (SCI) can induce a series of histological, biochemical, and functional changes. Acupuncture is commonly used for SCI patients. Using male rats of spinal cord injury with the New York University (NYU) Impactor, we investigated the response of electroacupuncture (EA), manual acupuncture (MA), and transcutaneous acupoint electrical stimulation (TAES) at Shuigou (DU26) and Fengfu (DU16) acupoints to understand the effects and mechanisms of acupuncture in neuroprotection and neuronal function recovery after SCI. Histological study showed a restored neural morphology and an increase in the quantity of neurons after EA, MA, and TAES administrations. Acupuncture's antioxidation effects were demonstrated by alleviation of the post-SCI superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity increase and malondialdehyde (MDA) level decrease. The anti-inflammation effect of acupuncture was shown as the reduced expression of inflammatory cytokines including interleukin-1β (IL-1β), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) when SCI was treated. And the antiapoptosis role was approved by TUNEL staining. Our data confirmed that the role of acupuncture in neuroprotection and dorsal neuronal function recovery after rat SCI, especially, EA stimulating at Shuigou (DU26) and Fengfu (DU16) can greatly promote neuronal function recovery, which may result from antioxidation, anti-inflammation, and antiapoptosis effects of acupuncture.