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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2016, Article ID 1935372, 11 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/1935372
Research Article

Changes in the Interstitial Cells of Cajal and Immunity in Chronic Psychological Stress Rats and Therapeutic Effects of Acupuncture at the Zusanli Point (ST36)

Department of General Surgery, The First Affiliated Hospital of Dalian Medical University, Liaoning 116011, China

Received 10 January 2016; Revised 3 March 2016; Accepted 18 May 2016

Academic Editor: Keturah R. Faurot

Copyright © 2016 Mucang Liu 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.

Abstract

Now, chronic psychological stress (CPS) related diseases are increasing. Many CPS patients have gastrointestinal complaints, immune suppression, and immune imbalance. Increasing evidence is indicating that acupuncture (AP) at the Zusanli point (ST36) can alleviate functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGID), immune suppression, and immune imbalance. However, few studies have investigated the potential mechanisms. In this study, CPS rat models were established, and electroacupuncture (EA) at ST36 was done for CPS rats. Daily food intake, weight, intestinal sensitivity, the morphology of interstitial cell of Cajal (ICC) in the small intestine, and serum indexes were measured. The study found that, in CPS rats, EA at ST36 could improve food intake, weight, visceral hypersensitivity, and immunity; in CPS rats, in small intestine, the morphology of ICCs was abnormal and the number was decreased, which may be part causes of gastrointestinal motility dysfunction. EA at ST36 showed useful therapeutic effects. The mechanisms may be partially related to its repairing effects on ICCs damages; in CPS rats, there were immune suppression and immune imbalance, which may be part causes of visceral hypersensitivity. EA at ST36 showed useful therapeutic effects. The mechanisms may be partially related to its regulation on immunity.