Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
Neural Plasticity
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 8696402, 9 pages
Research Article

Acupuncture Attenuates Renal Sympathetic Activity and Blood Pressure via Beta-Adrenergic Receptors in Spontaneously Hypertensive Rats

1Acupuncture and Moxibustion Department, Beijing Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine Affiliated to Capital Medical University, 23 Meishuguanhou Street, Dongcheng District, Beijing 100010, China
2Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, 11 Beisanhuan East Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100029, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Cun-Zhi Liu; moc.621@087326zcl

Received 8 August 2016; Accepted 11 January 2017; Published 8 February 2017

Academic Editor: Preston E. Garraghty

Copyright © 2017 Jing-Wen Yang 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.


The sympathetic nervous system, via epinephrine and norepinephrine, regulates β-adrenergic receptor (β-AR) expression, and renal sympathetic activation causes sustained increases in blood pressure by enhanced renin release. In this study, we aim to investigate the effect and underlying mechanism of acupuncture at Taichong (LR3) on renal sympathetic activity in spontaneously hypertensive rats. Unanesthetized rats were subject to daily acupuncture for 2 weeks. Mean blood pressure (MBP) and heart rate variability (HRV) were monitored at days 0, 7, and 14 by radiotelemetry. After euthanasia on the 14th day, blood and the kidneys were collected and subject to the following analyses. Epinephrine and norepinephrine were detected by ELISA. The expression of β-ARs was studied by western blotting and PCR. The renin content was analyzed by radioimmunoassay. 14-day acupuncture significantly attenuates the increase of MBP. The HRV indices, the standard deviation of all normal NN intervals (SDNN), and the ratio of the low-frequency component to the high-frequency component (LF/HF) were improved following acupuncture. Renal sympathetic activation induced upregulation of epinephrine, norepinephrine, and renin content were attenuated by acupuncture. In addition, acupuncture decreased β1-AR expression and improved β2-AR expression. These results indicated that acupuncture relieves the increased MBP via the regulation of renal sympathetic activity and β-ARs.