Abstract Title:

Effects of electro-acupuncture on endothelium-derived endothelin-1 and endothelial nitric oxide synthase of rats with hypoxia-induced pulmonary hypertension.

Abstract Source:

Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2010 May;235(5):642-8. PMID: 20463305

Abstract Author(s):

Peng Pan, Xueyong Zhang, Hua Qian, Weidong Shi, Juan Wang, Yulong Bo, Wenzhi Li

Article Affiliation:

Department of Anesthesiology, Second Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University, Anesthesiology Key Laboratory, Harbin Medical University, Education Department of Heilongjiang Province, Harbin 150081, China.


Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is characterized by elevated pulmonary artery pressure (PAP), pulmonary vascular remodeling and right ventricular hypertrophy, which are mainly due to endothelial dysfunction. Electro-acupuncture has shown beneficial effects on cardiovascular homeostasis, but little evidence has been obtained on pulmonary effects. The goal of the present study was to investigate whether electro-acupuncture on bladder-13 and -15 points can protect against chronic hypoxia-induced PH by regulating endothelium-derived endothelin (ET)-1 and endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS). Male Wistar rats were exposed to hypoxia to induce PH. Hemodynamic analysis revealed that mean PAP was similar under normoxic conditions. Chronic hypoxia increased mean PAP to 37 +/- 3 mmHg, and electro-acupuncture attenuated it to 29 +/- 3 mmHg. Absolute right ventricular weight was ameliorated by electro-acupuncture from 0.288 +/- 0.048 g to 0.228 +/- 0.029 g under hypoxic conditions. Hypoxia-induced right ventricular hypertrophy index decreased from 0.477 +/- 0.069 to 0.378 +/- 0.053 with electro-acupuncture treatment. Histological examination revealed that hypoxic rats showed increased medial pulmonary artery wall thickness as well as muscularization. However, these alternations by chronic hypoxia were attenuated by electro-acupuncture. There was no difference in eNOS or ET-1 between groups under normoxic conditions. Electro-acupuncture treatment significantly improved the circulating eNOS concentration (365.36 +/- 31.51 pg/mL) compared with only hypoxia exposure (247.60 +/- 30.64 pg/mL). In lung homogenate, levels of eNOS under hypoxia increased from 684.96 +/- 117.90 to 869.86 +/- 197.61 pg/mg by electro-acupuncture treatment. Levels of ET-1 changed oppositely to eNOS in response to electro-acupuncture (ET-1 in plasma, 29.44 +/- 2.09 versus 20.70 +/- 2.37 pg/mL; ET-1 in lung homogenate, 120.51 +/- 3.03 versus 110.60 +/- 4.04 pg/mg). In conclusion, these results indicated that treatment with electro-acupuncture can protect against hypoxia-induced PH, possibly by regulating the balance of endothelium-derived vasoconstrictors and vasodilators.

Study Type : Animal Study

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