The Effect of Acupuncture on the Intestinal Smooth Muscle Dysfunction Caused by Enteric Bacterial Infection in Weaning Piglet

돼지의 세균성 위장관 질환에 따른 평활근 기능 이상에 대한 침술의 효과

  • Kim, Tae-wan (College of Veterinary Medicine, Seoul National University) ;
  • La, Jun-ho (College of Veterinary Medicine, Seoul National University) ;
  • Sung, Tae-sik (College of Veterinary Medicine, Seoul National University) ;
  • Kang, Jeong-woo (College of Veterinary Medicine, Seoul National University) ;
  • Nam, Tchi-chou (College of Veterinary Medicine, Seoul National University) ;
  • Choi, Min-cheol (College of Veterinary Medicine, Seoul National University) ;
  • Yoon, Yeo-sung (College of Veterinary Medicine, Seoul National University) ;
  • Yang, Il-suk (College of Veterinary Medicine, Seoul National University)
  • Accepted : 2003.08.07
  • Published : 2003.09.25


It is now generally accepted that acupuncture is effective in diarrhea caused by bacterial infection. However, its effect on the intestinal smooth muscle dysfunction is not clear. Therefore, we investigated the effect of acupuncture therapy at Jiao-chao (GV-1) on the intestinal muscle dysfunction in weaning piglets orally infected by Escherichia coli. The animals are divided into four groups; 1) E. coli + no-treatment, 2) E. coli + antibiotic, 3) E. coli + acupuncture, 4) normal group. In the three E. coli infected groups, low frequency electrical field stimulation (EFS, 1 Hz) provoked triphasic responses composed of initial relaxation followed by on-contraction and off-contraction. While in the normal group, EFS (1Hz) induced biphasic responses composed of relaxation during the stimulation and off-contraction. At the high frequency (16Hz) EFS, both on-contraction and off-contraction of the E. coli + antibiotic, E. coli + acupuncture and the normal group were larger than those of the E. coli + no-treatment group. In the non-adrenergic non-cholinergic (NANC) condition, only biphasic responses occurred to EFS in all experimental groups and the off-contraction of E. coli + antibiotic, E. coli + acupuncture and the normal group were larger than those of the E. coli + no-treatment group. The response to carbachol of those three groups was also significantly greater than that of the E. coli + no-treatment group. These results suggest that acupuncture is as effective as antibiotic in the dysfunction of colonic circular muscle caused by E. coli infection. The maintenance of contractile neuromuscular transmission seems to be involved in the mechanism of the acupuncture effects on diarrhea.


  1. Berschneider, H. M. Complementary and alternative veterinary medicine and gastrointestinal disease. Clin. Tech. Small Anim. Pract. 2002, 17, 19-24
  2. Choi, M., J. Jung, M. Seo, K. Lee, T. Nam, I. Yang, Y. Yoon, and J. Yoon. Ultrasonographic observation of intestinal mobility of dogs after acu- punctural stimulation on acupoints ST-36 and BL-27. J. Vet. Sci. 2001, 2, 221-226
  3. Dill, S. G. Acupuncture for gastrointestinal disorders. Probl. Vet. Med. 1992, 4, 144-154
  4. Driesen, S. J., P. G. Carland, and V. A. Fahy. Studies on preweaning piglet diarrhoea. Aust. Vet. J. 1993, 70, 259-262
  5. Farthing, M. J. Novel targets for the control of secretory diarrhoea. Gut. 50 Suppl. 3: III15-III18, 2002
  6. Gollub, R. L., K. K. Hui, and G. B. Stefano. Acupuncture: pain management coupled to immune stimulation. Zhongguo Yao Li Xue Bao. 1999, 20, 769-777
  7. Hecht, G. Microbes and microbial toxins: paradigms for microbial-mucosal interactions. VII. Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli: physiological alterations from an extracellular position. Am. J. Physiol Gastrointest.Liver Physiol. 2001, 281, G1-G7
  8. Hosseini, J. M., J. M. Goldhill, C. Bossone, V. Pineiro-Carrero, and T. Shea-Donohue. Progressive alterations in circular smooth muscle contractility in TNBS-induced colitis in rats. Neurogastroenterol. Motil. 1999, 11, 347-356
  9. Hwang, Y. C. and E. M. Jenkins. Effect of acupuncture on young pigs with induced enteropathogenic Escherichia coli diarrhea. Am. J. Vet. Res. 1988, 49, 1641-1643
  10. Jacobson, M., S. C. Hard af, A. Gunnarsson, C. Fellstrom, K. K. de Verdier, P. Wallgren, and M. Jensen-Waern. Diarrhoea in the growing pig - a comparison of clinical, morphological and microbial findings between animals from good and poor performance herds. Res. Vet. Sci. 2003, 74, 163-169
  11. Jadcherla, S. R Inflammation inhibits muscarinic signaling in in vivo canine colonic circular smooth muscle cells. Pediatr. Res. 2002, 52, 756-762
  12. Li, Y., G. Tougas, S. G. Chiverton, and R. H. Hunt. The effect of acupuncture on gastrointestinal function and disorders. Am. J. Gastroenterol. 1992, 87, 1372-1381
  13. Lin, Y., Z. Zhou, W. Shen, J. Shen, M. Hu, F. Zhang, P. Hu, M. Xu, S. Huang, and Y. Zheng. Clinical and experimental studies on shallow needling technique for treating childhood diarrhea. J. Tradit. Chin Med. 1993, 13, 107-114
  14. Mizuta, Y., H. Isomoto, and T. Takahashi. Impaired nitrergic innervation in rat colitis induced by dextran sulfate sodium. Gastroenterolo. 2000, 118, 714-723
  15. Moxley, R. A., E. M. Berberov, D. H. Francis, J. Xing, M. Moayeri, R. A. Welch, D. R. Baker, and R. G. Barletta. Pathogenicity of an enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli hemolysin (hlyA) mutant in gnotobiotic piglets, Infect, Immun. 1998, 66, 5031-5035
  16. Myers, B. S., J. S. Martin, D. T. Dempsey, H. P. Parkman, R. M. Thomas, and J. P. Ryan. Acute experimental colitis decreases colonic circular smooth muscle contractility in rats. Am. J. Physiol. 1997, 273, G928-G936
  17. Noguchi, E., H. Ohsawa, H. Tanaka, H. Ikeda, and Y. Aikawi. Electro-acupuncture stimulation effects on duodenal motility in anesthetized rats. Jpn. J. Physiol. 2003, 53, 1-7
  18. Petti, F., A. Bangrazi, A. Liguori, G. Reale, and F. Ippoliti. Effects of acupuncture on immune response related to opioid-like peptides. J. Tradit. Chin. Med. 1998, 18, 55-63
  19. Robins-Browne, R. M. and E. L. Hartland. Escherichia coli as a cause of diarrhea. J. Gastroenterol. Hepatol. 2002, 17, 467-475
  20. Sanchez-Araujo, M and A. Puchi. Acupuncture enhances the efficacy of antibiotics treatment for canine otitis crises. Acupunct. Electrother. Res. 1997, 22, 191-206
  21. Shu, Q., F. Qu, and H. S. Gill. Probiotic treatment using Bifidobacterium lactis HN019 reduces weanling diarrhea associated with rotavirus and Escherichia coli infection in a piglet model. J. Pediatr. Gastroenterol. Nutr. 2001, 33, 171-177
  22. Tabosa, A., Y. Yamamura, E. R. Forno, and L. E. Mello. Effect of the acupoints ST-36 (Zusanli) and SP-6 (Sanyinjiao) on intestinal myoelectric activity of Wistar rats. Braz. J, Med. Biol. Res. 2002, 35, 731-739
  23. Wu, H. G., L. B. Zhou, Y. Y. Pan, C. Huang, H. P. Chen, Z. Shi, and X. G. Hua. Study of the mechanisms of acupuncture and moxibustion treatment for ulcerative colitis rats in view of the gene expression of cytokines. World J. Gastroenterol. 1999, 5, 515-517
  24. Yang, C. and H. Yan. Observation of the efficacy of acupuncture and moxibustion in 62 cases of chronic colitis. J. Tradit. Chin. Med. 1999, 19, 111-114
  25. Zijlstra, F. J., van den Berg-de Lange, F. J. Huygen, and J. Klein. Anti-inflammatory actions of acupuncture. Mediators Inflamm. 2003, 12, 59-69