Antihypertensive and Antihypertrophic Effects of Acupuncture at PC6 Acupoints in Spontaneously Hypertensive Rats and the Underlying Mechanisms

Juan-juan Xin, Jun-hong Gao, Yuan-yuan Wang, Feng-yan Lu, Yu-xue Zhao, Xiang-hong Jing, Xiao-chun Yu
Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine2017
The aim of this work is to investigate the effect of electroacupuncture (EA) at PC6 on the hypertension and myocardial hypertrophy in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRs). Thirty SHRs were randomized into model, SHR + EA, and SHR + Sham EA group with WKY rats as normal control. EA was applied once a day in 8 consecutive weeks. The blood pressure (BP), cardiac function, and hypertrophy as well as the underlying mechanisms were investigated. After EA treatment, the enhanced BP in SHR + EA group was significantly lower compared to both the period before EA and model group. Echocardiographic, morphological studies showed that the enhanced left ventricular anterior and posterior wall end-diastolic (LVAWd and LVPWd) thickness, diameters and cross-sectional area (CSA) of cardiac myocyte, as well as the ratio of heart weight to body weight (HW/BW), were markedly diminished in SHR + EA group, while the reduced left ventricular ejection fraction, left ventricular short axis fraction shortening, and E/A ratio were significantly ameliorated. The levels of Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) and Angiotensin II Type 1 and 2 receptors (AT1R, AT2R) in SHRs were also significantly attenuated by EA. The results suggest that EA at bilateral PC6 could arrest the hypertension development and ameliorate the cardiac hypertrophy and malfunction in SHRs, which might be mediated by the regulation of ACE, AT1R, and AT2R.
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