Public Release: 

Electroacupuncture at PC6 may decrease frequency of transient lower esophageal sphincter relaxation

World Journal of Gastroenterology

The First Hospital of Peking University, China-Research, has shown that electroacupuncture at PC6 may decrease the frequency of transient lower esophageal sphincter relaxation (TLESR), which is the main mechanism underlying gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). The study is reported in Issue 35 (September, 2007) of the World Journal of Gastroenterology because of its significant clinical impact.

The study found that electroacupuncture at PC6 can contribute to a decrease of TLESR induced by gastric distention in cats. It also showed that this effect appears to act at the brain stem, and may be mediated through nitric oxide (NO), CCK-A, and mu-opioid receptors.

"Acupuncture has been used to treat functional gastrointestinal disorders in Eastern countries for centuries. Our research aimed to investigate the relationship between acupuncture and TLESR and to discuss its mechanisms," noted principal investigator Peng-Yan Xie, professor and chair of the Department of Gastroenterology at the First Hospital of Peking University. "This research is the first paper to carefully observe the mechanisms of this phenomenon."

The study involved two experiments. One showed that electroacupuncture at PC6 decreased the frequency of TLESR induced by gastric distention in cats, and that it may act at the reticular formation of medulla (RFM) in the brain stem.

In the second experiment, Xie and his colleagues pretreated the cats with saline (2 mL iv. control group), phaclofen (5 mg/kg iv. GABA-B antagonist), cholecystokinin octapeptide (CCK-8) (1 mug/kg/h iv.), L-Arginine (200 mg/kg iv.), naloxone (2.5 mumol/kg iv.) and tacrine (5.6 mg/kg ip. cholinesterase inhibitor) respectively before electroacupuncture at PC6, and observed whether the effect of the electroacupuncture was reversed. They found that CCK-8, L-arginine and naloxone reversed the effect of acupuncture. On the other hand, phaclofen and tacrine did not have such an effect.

The main conclusion reported by the investigators is that electric acupoint stimulation at the PC6 results in a significant reduction of the rate of TLESRs induced by gastric distention. This effect appears to act at the brain stem, and may be mediated through NO, CCK-A, and mu-opioid receptors.


Reference: Wang C, Zhou DF, Shuai XW, Liu JX, Xie PY. Effects and mechanisms of electroacupuncture at PC6 on frequency of transient lower esophageal sphincter relaxation in cats. World J Gastroenterol 2007; 13(36): 4873-4880

Correspondence to: Dr Peng-Yan Xie, 8 Xishiku Street, Department of Gastroenterology, Peking University First Hospital, Beijing100034, China Telephone: 0086-010-66551122£­5131 Fax: +86-010-66551580

About World Journal of Gastroenterology

World Journal of Gastroenterology (WJG), a leading international journal in gastroenterology and hepatology, has established a reputation for publishing first class research on esophageal cancer, gastric cancer, liver cancer, viral hepatitis, colorectal cancer, and H pylori infection for providing a forum for both clinicians and scientists. WJG has been indexed and abstracted in Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, Science Citation Index Expanded (also known as SciSearch) and Journal Citation Reports/Science Edition, Index Medicus, MEDLINE and PubMed, Chemical Abstracts, EMBASE/Excerpta Medica, Abstracts Journals, Nature Clinical Practice Gastroenterology and Hepatology, CAB Abstracts and Global Health. ISI JCR 2003-2000 IF: 3.318, 2.532, 1.445 and 0.993. WJG is a weekly journal published by WJG Press. The publication dates are the 7th, 14th, 21st, and 28th day of every month. The WJG is supported by The National Natural Science Foundation of China, No. 30224801 and No. 30424812, and was founded with the name of China National Journal of New Gastroenterology on October 1, 1995, and renamed WJG on January 25, 1998.

About The WJG Press

The WJG Press mainly publishes World Journal of Gastroenterology.

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