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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 659268, 14 pages
Research Article

Electroacupuncture at Acupoints Reverses Plasma Glutamate, Lipid, and LDL/VLDL in an Acute Migraine Rat Model: A1H NMR-Based Metabolomic Study

1Clinical Acupuncture and Moxibustion Department, Second School of Clinical Medicine, Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, Nanjing, Jiangsu 210029, China
2Acupuncture and Tuina College, Chengdu University of TCM, Chengdu, Sichuan 610075, China
3National Center of Biomedical Analysis, Beijing 100850, China
4The Third Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang Chinese Medical University, Hangzhou, Zhejiang 310006, China
5Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, West China School of Preclinical and Forensic Medicine, Sichuan University, Chengdu, Sichuan 610041, China

Received 28 February 2013; Revised 16 October 2013; Accepted 7 November 2013; Published 28 January 2014

Academic Editor: Yi-Hung Chen

Copyright © 2014 Zishan Gao 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.


Background. The objective of this study was to identify potential biomarkers of electroacupuncture (EA) on relieving acute migraine through metabolomic study. Methods. EA treatments were performed on both acupoints and nonacupoints on the nitroglycerin (NTG)-induced migraine rat model. NMR experiments and multivariate analysis were used for metabolomic analysis. Results. The number of head-scratching, the main ethology index of migraine rat model, was significantly increased after NTG injection. The plasma metabolic profile of model group was distinct from that of the control group. Glutamate was significantly increased , whereas lipids were significantly decreased in model rats. After EA at acupoints, the metabolic profile of model rats was normalized, with decreased glutamate and increased lipids . In contrast, EA at nonacupoints did not restore the metabolic profile, but with six metabolites significantly different from acupoints group. Interestingly, the number of head-scratching and glutamate level were significantly decreased after receiving EA at both acupoints and nonacupoints. Conclusions. EA at acupoints may relieve acute migraine by restoring the plasma metabolic profile and plasma glutamate, while EA at nonacupoints may modestly relieve acute migraine by decreasing plasma glutamate.