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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2015, Article ID 639412, 7 pages
Research Article

Electroacupuncture at Bilateral Zusanli Points (ST36) Protects Intestinal Mucosal Immune Barrier in Sepsis

Department of Critical Care Medicine, The First Affiliated Hospital, Zhejiang Chinese Medical University, Hangzhou 310006, China

Received 1 December 2014; Revised 20 March 2015; Accepted 10 April 2015

Academic Editor: Tetsuya Kondo

Copyright © 2015 Mei-fei Zhu 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.


Sepsis results in high morbidity and mortality. Immunomodulation strategies could be an adjunctive therapy to treat sepsis. Acupuncture has also been used widely for many years in China to treat sepsis. However, the underlying mechanisms are not well-defined. We demonstrated here that EA preconditioning at ST36 obviously ameliorated CLP-induced intestinal injury and high permeability and reduced the mortality of CLP-induced sepsis rats. Moreover, electroacupuncture (EA) pretreatment exerted protective effects on intestinal mucosal immune barrier by increasing the concentration of sIgA and the percentage of CD3+, γ/δ, and CD4+ T cells and the ratio of CD4+/CD8+ T cells. Although EA at ST36 treatments immediately after closing the abdomen in the CLP procedure with low-frequency or high-frequency could not reduce the mortality of CLP-induced sepsis in rats, these EA treatments could also significantly improve intestinal injury index in rats with sepsis and obviously protected intestinal mucosal immune barrier. In conclusion, our findings demonstrated that EA at ST36 could improve intestinal mucosal immune barrier in sepsis induced by CLP, while the precise mechanism underlying the effects needs to be further elucidated.