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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2016, Article ID 3840230, 8 pages
Research Article

Electroacupuncture at ST37 Enhances Jejunal Motility via Excitation of the Parasympathetic System in Rats and Mice

1Key Laboratory of Integrated Acupuncture and Drugs, Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, Ministry of Education, 138 Xianlin Road, Qixia District, Nanjing, Jiangsu 210029, China
2Institute of Acupuncture and Moxibustion, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing, China

Received 16 July 2016; Accepted 18 September 2016

Academic Editor: Morry Silberstein

Copyright © 2016 Mengqian Yuan 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 roles of the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems in mediating the effect of electroacupuncture (EA) at ST37 on jejunal motility have yet to be demonstrated. Aim. We used rats and mice to investigate the effect and mechanism of action of EA at ST37 on jejunal motility. Methods. Jejunal motility was recorded by a balloon placed in the jejunum and connected to a biological signal collection system through a transducer. The effects of EA (3 mA) at ST37 were evaluated in Sprague-Dawley rats without drugs and with the administration of clenbuterol, propranolol, acetylcholine, and atropine. Further, the efficacy of EA at different intensities (1/2/4/6/8 mA) was measured in wild-type mice and mice and mice. Results. In Sprague-Dawley rats, the excitatory effect of EA at ST37 on jejunal motility disappeared in the presence of the muscarinic receptor antagonist atropine. EA at ST37 was less effective in mice than in wild-type mice. Furthermore, to a certain extent, there existed “intensity-response” relationship between jejunal motility and EA. Conclusions. EA at ST37 can enhance jejunal motility in rats and mice mainly via excitation of the parasympathetic pathway. There is an “intensity-response” relationship between EA and effect on jejunal motility.