The Effect of Electroacupuncture on Pain Threshold and 5.Hydroxytryptamine Synthesis Induced by Nociception in the Raphe Magnus Nucleus of Dog Brain Stem

개의 발에 염증 유발 후 전침이 통증역치 및 뇌줄기 큰솔기핵의 5-Hydroxytryptamine 합성에 미치는 효과

  • Cho, Mi-Suk (Department of Physical Therapy, Korea Nazarene University)
  • 조미숙 (나사렛대학교 물리치료학과)
  • Received : 2010.10.15
  • Accepted : 2011.02.11
  • Published : 2011.02.25


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of electroacupuncture on pain threshold and 5-HT synthesis in raphe magnus nucleus of dog brain stem following nociception induced by 1% carageenan. Method: Twenty male dogs were randomly divided into two groups, a control group and an electroacupuncture group with the following parameters: ST36, LI11 and SP9 with 120Hz and 0.5mA. The dogs were sacrificed at 30, 60, 90, 120, 150 and 180 min after nociception using 1% carageenan injection into the plantar side of the dog's left leg. The pain threshold was recorded by an Analgesia-meter. After making brain slice sections, the tissues were immunostained with 5-HT antisera (1:2,500). Results: The pain threshold for the electroacupuncture group was higher than for the control group. The number of 5-HT immunoreactive neurons in the electroacupuncture group was greater than that of the control group. Differences between the two groups regarding the number of 5-HT immunoreactive neurons at 30 min and 60 min (p<0.05), at 120 min and 150 min (p<0.01), and at 8 days (p<0.05) were significant. Conclusion: The increases in pain threshold and number of 5-HT immunoreactive neurons in the raphe magnus nucleus of dog brain stem showed that electroacupuncture can attenuate pain transduction through the descending tract.


Supported by : 나사렛대학교


  1. Chung HC, Han MC, Park SK et al. Effects of norepinephrine and serotonin increase induced by acupuncture stimulation on the nitric oxide synthesis. J Kor Acup Mox Soc. 1999;16(3):367-78.
  2. Ehrlich D, Haber P. Influence of acupuncture on physical performance capacity and haemodynamic parameters. Int J Sports Med. 1992;13(6):486-91.
  3. Chamas F, Serova L, Sabban EL. Tryptophan hydroxylase mRNA levels are elevated by repeated immobilization stress in rat raphe nuclei but not in pineal gland. Neurosci Lett. 1999;267(3):157-60.
  4. Culman J, Kiss A, Kvetnanský R. Serotonin and tryptophan hydroxylase in isolated hypothalamic and brain stem nuclei of rats exposed to acute and repeated immobilization stress. Exp Clin Endocrinol. 1984;83(1):28-36.
  5. Lin TG, Chen WL. Acupuncture analgesia. a review of its mecanisms of actions. Am J Chin Med. 2008;36(4): 635-45.
  6. Baumgarten HG, Björklund A, Lachenmayer L et al. Long-lasting selective depletion of brain serotonin by 5,6-dihydroxytryptamine. Acta Physiol Scand Suppl. 1971; 373:1-15.
  7. Moazzami A, Tjen-A-Looli SC, Guo ZL et al. Serotonergic projection from nucleus raphe pallidus to rostral ventrolateral medulla modulates cardiovascular reflex responses during acupuncture. J Appl Physiol. 2010;108(5):1336-46.
  8. Kayser V, Elfassi IE, Aubel B et al. Mechanical, thermal and formalin-induced nociception is differentially altered in 5-HT1A-/-, 5-HT1B-/-, 5-HT2A-/-, 5-HT3A-/- and 5-HTT-/- knock-out male mice. Pain. 2007;130(3):235-48.
  9. Kim JH, Min BI, Schmidt D et al. The difference between electroacupuncture only and electroacupuncture with manipulation on analgesia in rats. Neurosci Lett. 2000; 279(3):149-52.
  10. Son IS, Choi BT, Jang KJ. The effect of 120Hz electroacupuncture on the prostaglandin E2 and Spinal N-methy-D-aspatate receptor expression in the carrageenaninjected rat. 2003;20(3);15-23.
  11. Kim YI, Kim YH, Lim YK et al. A fMRI study on the cerebral activity induced by Electro-acupuncture on Zusanli(St36). The journal of Korean Acupuncture & Moxibustion Society. 2003;20(5):133-50.
  12. Shin HK, Park DS, Lee SE et al. Characterization of electroacupuncture effects on the responses of rat dorsal horn neurons to noxious stimulation. The journal of Korean Acupuncture & Moxibustion Society. 2002;19(4):167-82.
  13. Jung IG, Lee JD, Kim CH et al. Effect of Joksamni combination on NADPH-diaphorase, neuronal nitric oxide synthase, neuropeptide Y and vasoactive intestinal peptide in the cerebral cortex of spontaneously hypertensive rat. The journal of Korean Acupuncture & Moxibustion Society. 2003;20(5):118-32.
  14. Kim GY, Woo KH. The effects of alphabet exercise with SSP electrotherapy on lateral ankle splain. J Kor Soc Phy Ther. 2004;16(2):323-31.
  15. Cho ZH, Chung SC, Jones JP et al. New findings of the correlation between acupoints and corresponding brain cortices using functional MRI. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1998;95(5):2670-3.
  16. Kim JT, Lee, JD, Lee YH. Effect of different patterns of low frequency electroacupuncture on the neuronal activities in the spinal cord and brainstem using fos immunohistochemical technique. J Kor Acup Mox Soc. 1999; 16(2):403-12.
  17. Park. HJ, Lim S, Lee, HS et al. Effect of low frequency electroacupuncture on the chronic monoarthritis and the mRNA encoding substance P and trkA mRNA level in rats. J Kor Acup Mox Soc. 2002;19(6):97-110.
  18. Lin TG, Chen WL. Acupuncture analgesia. A review of its mechanisms of action. Am J Chin Med. 2008;36(4): 635-45.
  19. Chang FC, Tsai HY, Yu MC et al. The central serotonergic system mediates the analgesic effect of electroacupuncture on ZUSANLI (ST36) acupoints. J Biomed Sci. 2004; 11(2):179-85.
  20. Liu H, Wang H, Sheng M et al. Evidence for presynaptic N-methyl-D-aspartate autoreceptors in the spinal cord dorsal horn. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1994;91(18):8383-7.
  21. Du HJ, Chao YF. Localization of central structures involved in descending inhibitory effect of acupuncture on viscerosomatic reflex discharges. Sci Sin. 1976;19(1):137-48.
  22. Dong ZQ, Ma F, Xie H et al. Changes of expression of glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor and its receptor in dorsal root ganglions and spinal dorsal horn during electroacupuncturetreatment in neuropathic pain rats. Neurosci Lett. 2005;376(2):143-8.
  23. Du J, He L. Alterations of spinal dorsal horn substance P following electroacupuncture analgesia study of the formalin test with immunohistochemistry and densitometry. Acupunct Electrother Res. 1992;17(1):1-6.
  24. Hjorth S. Serotonin 5-HT1A autoreceptor blockade potentiates the ability of the 5-HT reuptake inhibitor citalopram to increase nerve terminal output of 5-HT in vivo: a microdialysis study. J Neurochem. 1993;60(2):776-9.
  25. Liu B, Zhang RX, Wang L et al. Effects of pertussis toxin on electroacupuncture-produced anti-hyperalgesia in inflamed rats. Brain Res. 2005;1044(1):87-92.
  26. Takagi J, Yonehara N. Serotonin receptor subtypes involved in modulation of electrical acupuncture. Jpn J Pharmacol. 1998;78(4):511-4.
  27. Shen E, Ts'ai TT, Lan C. Supraspinal participation in the inhibitory effect of acupuncture on viscero-somatic reflex discharges. Chin Med J(Engl). 1975;1(6):431-40.
  28. McLennan H, Gilfillan K, Heap Y. Some pharmacological observations on the analgesia induced by acupuncture in rabbits. Pain. 1977;3(3):229-38.