Hepatic electrical stimulation reduces blood glucose in diabetic rats

J. Chen, P. J. Pasricha, J. Yin, L. Lin, J. D.Z. Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background The aim of this study was to investigate the feasibility and mechanisms of controlling blood glucose using hepatic electrical stimulation (HES). Methods The study was performed in regular Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats, streptozotocin-induced type 1 diabetic rats and Zucker diabetic fatty (ZDF) rats chronically implanted with one pair of stimulation electrodes on two lobes of the liver tissues. Key Results (i) Hepatic electrical stimulation was effective in reducing blood glucose by 27%-31% at time points 60, 75 and 90 min after oral glucose in normal rats; (ii) HES reduced blood glucose in both fasting and fed states in both type 1 and type 2 diabetic rats; (iii) Chronic HES decreased the blood glucose level, and, delayed gastric empty and increased plasma glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) level; and (iv) No adverse events were noted in any rats during HES. Histopathological analyses and liver function tests revealed no electrode dislodgement, tissue damages or liver enzyme changes with HES. Conclusions & Inferences Hepatic electrical stimulation is capable of reducing both fasting and fed blood glucose in normal, and type 1 and type 2 diabetic rats and the effect may be partially mediated via an increase in GLP-1 release.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1109-1116+e286
JournalNeurogastroenterology and Motility
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • blood glucose
  • diabetes
  • electrical stimulation
  • gastrointestinal hormones
  • glycemic control
  • hyperglycemia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Gastroenterology


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