Effects of electroacupuncture on stress-induced gastric dysrhythmia and mechanisms involving autonomic and central nervous systems in functional dyspepsia

Sujuan Zhang, Yi Liu, Shiying Li, Feng Ye, Robert D. Foreman, Jiande D.Z. Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Electroacupuncture (EA) is widely used as an effective method to treat stress-related disorders. However, its mechanisms remain largely unknown. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects and mechanisms of EA on gastric slow wave (GSW) dysrhythmia and c-Fos expression in the nucleus of the solitary tract (NTS) induced by stress in a rodent model of functional dyspepsia (FD). Rats in the neonatal stage were treated using intragastric iodoacetamide. Eight weeks later, the rats were implanted with electrodes in the stomach for the measurement of GSW and electrodes into accupoints ST36 for EA. Autonomic functions were assessed by spectral analysis of heart rate variability. Rats were placed for 30 min in a cylindrical plastic tube for acute restraint stress. The involvement of a central afferent pathway was assessed by measuring c-Fos-immunoreactive cells in the NTS. 1) EA normalized restraint stress-induced impairment of GSW in FD rats. 2) EA significantly increased vagal activity (P 0.002) and improved sympathovagal balance (P 0.004) under stress in FD rats. 3) In FD rats under restraint stress, plasma norepinephrine concentration was increased substantially (P 0.01), which was suppressed with EA. 4) The EA group showed increased c-Fos-positive cell counts in the NTS compared with the sham EA group (P 0.05) in FD rats. Acute restraint stress induces gastric dysrhythmia in a rodent model of FD. EA at ST36 improves GSW under stress in FD rats mediated via the central and autonomic pathways, involving the NTS and vagal efferent pathway.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)R106-R113
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Volume319
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2020

Keywords

  • Central and autonomic pathways
  • Electroacupuncture
  • Functional dyspepsia
  • Gastric slow waves
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)

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