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  • Research Article2024-02-29

    Effect of Electroacupuncture Stimulation on Brown Adipose Tissue Thermogenesis

    Ting Li, Meng Wu, Junjian Tian , Yitong Li , Zhigang Li*
    J Acupunct Meridian Stud 2024; 17(1): 1-11 https://doi.org/10.51507/j.jams.2024.17.1.1
    Abstract

    Background: Brown adipose tissue (BAT) is a unique thermogenic tissue in mammals mediated by uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1). The energy generated by glucose and triglyceride metabolism is released and transmitted throughout the body as heat. Understanding the factors influencing BAT function is crucial to determine its metabolic significance and effects on overall health. Although studies have shown that electroacupuncture (EA) at specific acupoints (e.g., ST36) can stimulate BAT, its effects at other acupoints are not well understood. Further research is needed to investigate the potential effects of EA at these acupoints and their association with BAT activation.Objectives: This study aimed to investigate the effects of EA at the GV20 and EX-HN3 acupoints. Specifically, the effects of EA on BAT thermogenesis were analyzed by infrared thermography, western blotting, and real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Methods: A total of 12 C57BL/6J mice were randomly divided into the EA and control groups. The EA group received EA at GV20 and EX-HN3 for 20 min once daily for 14 days. The control group underwent the same procedure but without EA. The core body temperature was monitored. Infrared thermal images of the back of each mouse in both groups were captured. BAT samples were collected after euthanasia to analyze UCP1 protein and UCP1 mRNA. Results: The average skin temperature in the scapular region of the EA group was increased by 1.1℃ compared with that of the C group (p < 0.05). Additionally, the average temperature along the governor vessel in the EA group was increased by 1.6℃ (p = 0.045). EA significantly increased the expression of UCP1 protein (p = 0.001) and UCP1 mRNA (p = 0.002) in BAT, suggesting a potential link between EA and BAT thermogenesis. Conclusion: EA induced BAT thermogenesis, suggesting GV20 and EX-HN3 as potential acupoints for BAT stimulation. The experimental results also highlighted unique meridian characteristics as demonstrated by elevated skin temperature along the governor vessel in mice.

  • Research Article2024-02-29

    Characteristics of the New Mast Cell-Rich Nodal Structure in the Rat Skin Surface

    Kiho Lee1,2,*, JoonYoung Shin1, Eunhae Cha3, Sungchul Kim1,3,*
    J Acupunct Meridian Stud 2024; 17(1): 12-22 https://doi.org/10.51507/j.jams.2024.17.1.12
    Abstract

    Background: Acupuncture, practiced for millennia, lacks a clear anatomical definition for acupoints. A prevailing theory suggests that acupoints overlap with skin areas with higher mast cell density. Skin spots stained with intravenously infused Evans blue (EB), indicative of neurogenic inflammation, have recently been posited as acupoints in rats. Objectives: To demonstrate the concordance between EB-reactive skin spots and mast cell–enriched acupoints. Methods: We employed staining and RNA-seq analysis to delineate the morphological characteristics and gene expression profiles of EB-reactive skin spots in rats. Results: EB infusion revealed a novel nodal structure on the rat skin surface, visible to the naked eye, with dimensions of approximately 1 mm in both diameter and height. Around 30 such nodes were identified on one side of the abdominal area, spaced roughly 3 mm apart, excluding the linea alba. RNA-seq analysis indicated that the gene expression patterns within these nodes markedly differed from both non-nodal skin areas and lymph nodes. Histological examination using toluidine blue revealed a significantly greater mast cell count in the nodes than in non-nodal skin regions. Additionally, the nodes stained positively with Alcian blue and Hemacolor, reagents known to mark primo vascular tissues. Conclusion: Our findings suggest that EB-reactive nodes are indeed rich in mast cells. Further research is warranted to establish these skin nodes as surface primo nodes.

  • Research Article2024-02-29

    Effects of Tumor Microenvironment on the Primo Vascular Pattern in the Mouse Model of Metastatic Breast Cancer

    Amir Atashi1, Mohammad Kamalabadi-Farahani2,*, Nariman Rezaei Kolarijani3
    J Acupunct Meridian Stud 2024; 17(1): 23-27 https://doi.org/10.51507/j.jams.2024.17.1.23
    Abstract

    Background: Tumor survival, promotion, and metastatic functions are regulated by the tumor microenvironment (TME). The primo vascular system (PVS), the third circulatory system in animals, is currently thought to be a highly effective pathway for the spread of cancer cells.Objectives: In the present study, we intend to determine the TME effects on the PVS pattern in breast cancer for the first time. Methods: Heterotopic and orthotopic metastatic triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) mice models were created. After 35 days, the skin was retracted, and a 2 cm skin incision was made up and down from the surface of the tumor tissue. In preparation for PVS staining, the dyes (trypan blue and alamarBlue) were injected throughout the tumor tissues. Under a stereomicroscope, PVS in heterotopic and orthotopic tumors was seen. Results: According to our data, there are no appreciable variations in PVS patterns and density between heterotopic and orthotopic animal models. Furthermore, alamarBlue is a good option for tumor PVS staining, as demonstrated by our research. Conclusion: For the first time, our data gave significant new information about the PVS in TNBC. Creating new anti-cancer treatments may be made possible by a better understanding of the biological characteristics of the TME and PVS.

  • Research Article2024-02-29

    Warm Acupuncture Reduces Pain and Inflammation in Rats with Lumbar Disc Herniation Induced by Autologous Nucleus Pulposus Transplantation via Regulating p38MAPK/NF-κB Pathway

    Feng Pan1,2, Feng Zeng1, Yanbei Chen2, Yongren Zheng3, Zhihong Chen2, Xiaoju Zhu2, Mei Fang Yin2, Yiran Huang4,*, Zheng Liu2,*
    J Acupunct Meridian Stud 2024; 17(1): 28-37 https://doi.org/10.51507/j.jams.2024.17.1.28
    Abstract

    Background: Warm acupuncture (WA) has analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects. However, the underlying mechanism of these effects remain unclear. Objectives: To explore the analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects of WA and the potential underlying mechanism in male Sprague-Dawley rats with non-compressive lumbar disk herniation (LDH) caused by autologous nucleus pulposus (NP) transplantation. Methods: We used low-frequency (2 Hz) electrical stimulation and WA (40℃) to treat GB30 and BL54 acupoints in rats for 30 mins per day. We monitored the paw withdrawal threshold of rats during the experiment and measured serum cytokine levels using commercial kits. Dorsal root ganglion (DRG) tissue pathology was analyzed via H&E staining. We used qRT-PCR to measure the mRNA expression levels of IL-1β, IL-6, and TNF-α genes in DRG. Western blot was used to analyze the expression levels of IL-1β, IL-6, TNFα, P-p38MAPK, p38MAPK, P-IκBα, IκB α, and NF-κB p65 proteins. Results: WA treatment significantly increased the pain threshold of rats, reduced serum IL-6, PEG2, NO, SP, NP-Y, and MMP-3 levels, and effected histopathological improvements in the DRG in rats. Moreover, WA treatment significantly downregulated the expression levels of inflammation-associated genes (Il-1β, Il-6, and Tnf-α) and proteins (IL-1β, IL-6, TNF-α, P-p38MAPK, P-IκBα, and NF-κB p65) in the DRG of non-compressive LDH rats. Conclusion: WA can alleviate pain and inhibit inflammatory response in rats with non-compressive LDH caused by autologous NP transplantation, and these effects are likely associated with the inhibition of the p38MAPK/NF-κB pathway.

  • Research Article2024-02-29
    JAMS

    Effect of Single Acupuncture Point (Liver 7) on Pain and Range of Motion on Osteoarthritis of Knee

    M. Periyachishreepriya1, P. Kumaresan2,*, A. Naveena3, P. Prabu2, M. Sendhilkumar4
    J Acupunct Meridian Stud 2024; 17(1): 38-43 https://doi.org/10.51507/j.jams.2024.17.1.38
    Abstract

    Background: Osteoarthritis of the knee (OAK) is a chronic degenerative musculoskeletal disorder that strongly affects the elderly population and decreases their quality of life. Pain, stiffness, and restricted knee movements are the major characteristic features of OAK. There are no studies available on the effect of the liver 7 (LR 7) acupuncture point on pain and range of motion. Objectives: To study the effectiveness of the LR 7 acupuncture point on pain and range of motion in chronic OAK patients. Methods: Thirty-five subjects aged between 40 and 65 years were recruited from Government Yoga and Naturopathy Medical College, Chennai. Participants were included in the study after they fulfilled the eligibility criteria. The duration of acupuncture was 20 minutes (5 days/week) for 2 weeks. Baseline and post-intervention assessments were performed using the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC), and the degree of knee flexion and extension was measured using a goniometer. Results: Pre- and post-trial outcomes were compared using paired t-tests. LR 7 acupuncture reduced the WOMAC score from 49 to 30 (p < 0.001), indicating that pain was alleviated. Treatment increased the range of knee flexion from 110 to 115 degrees and reduced knee extension (p < 0.01) from 16 to 9 degrees (p < 0.001). These findings indicate that acupuncture treatment improved the range of knee movement. Conclusion: The present study showed that 10 sessions of LR 7 acupuncture for people with OAK significantly reduced pain and increased range of motion. We conclude that LR 7 acupuncture is an adjuvant therapy for alleviating pain and managing OAK.

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Aims & Scope

The Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies is a bimonthly, peer-reviewed, open access journal featuring high-quality studies related to basic and clinical acupuncture and meridian research. of integrative biomedical research and.… + more

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Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies
Vol.17 No.1
February, 2024

pISSN 2005-2901
eISSN 2093-8152

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    • Perspective Article2022-08-31

      Correlation Between the Sinew Channels with the Myofascial System, Pathology, and Treatment

      Pablo Nava Jaimes*, Alejandro Martínez Reyes, Daniel García Lara, Abel Cristian Patiño Coyuca
      J Acupunct Meridian Stud 2022; 15(4): 201-213 https://doi.org/10.51507/j.jams.2022.15.4.201

      The sinew channels are a tendon and muscle network, and their description is based on the observation presented on the Huangdi Neijing Ling Shu. However, the myofascial system is an uninterrupted series of connective tissue that is comprised of layers that run in different directions. The similarities on these pathways are compared, such as a brief description on the myofascial pain syndrome and its similitude with the Impediment disorder from the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Furthermore, we discuss the treatment of these conditions from a Traditional Chinese Medicine perspective.

    • Research Article2022-04-30

      Trigger Point Acupuncture and Exercise for Chronic Low Back Pain in Older Adult: a Preliminary Randomized Clinical Trial

      Yoichi Minakawa1,2,*, Shogo Miyazaki1,2, Hideaki Waki1,2, Naruto Yoshida1,2, Kaori Iimura3, Kazunori Itoh4
      J Acupunct Meridian Stud 2022; 15(2): 143-151 https://doi.org/10.51507/j.jams.2022.15.2.143
      Abstract

      Background: Exercise therapy is the first choice non-pharmacotherapeutic approach for musculoskeletal pain; however, it often interferes with the implementation and continuation of exercise due to fear-avoidance behaviors. Trigger point acupuncture (TrPAcp) has been reported to reduce musculoskeletal pain.Objectives: To examine the efficacy of exercise combined with TrPAcp compared to exercise alone for older patients with chronic low back pain (CLBP), the most common subjective symptom reported by old people of both sexes in Japan.Methods: In this single-center randomized controlled trial conducted at Teikyo Heisei University, 15 men and women aged ≥ 65 years with low back pain for at least 3 months who met the eligibility criteria were included. The Ex+TrPAcp group received exercise and trigger point acupuncture, while the Ex group received only exercise for 3 months. The main outcome, pain intensity, was measured using the numerical rating scale (NRS). Improvement was defined as a decrease in NRS of ≥ 2 or less than moderate (NRS < 4).Results: The analysis included 7 of 8 cases in the Ex+TrPAcp group and 7 of 7 cases in the Ex group. NRS improved in 6 of 7 and 1 of 7 patients in the intervention and control groups, respectively, with a significant difference between groups (p = 0.03, φ = 0.71). Regarding adverse events due to acupuncture, one patient (14.3%) complained of heaviness after acupuncture. Nothing specific was reported with exercise.Conclusion: Compared with Ex alone, Ex+TrPAcp may be more effective therapy for older people with CLBP who do not have an exercise habit.

    • Brief Report2022-12-31
      Abstract

      A patient with bradycardia and an idioventricular rhythm was observed. According to cardiologists, there is no reliable drug treatment for bradycardia with an idioventricular rhythm; instead, the sole treatment is a pacemaker. In the course of this case, it was shown that acupuncture can restore the heart rhythm from bradycardia to normocardia, and from idioventricular with third-degree atrioventricular node block and an average heart rate of 34 BPM, to normal sinus rhythm with a heart rate of 71 BPM. Additionally, at the end of the treatment, the patient’s number of episodes of ventricular extrasystole decreased 36 times (3289 versus 91 episodes). These results show that research on this technique should be continued.

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    • Perspective Article2022-08-31

      Correlation Between the Sinew Channels with the Myofascial System, Pathology, and Treatment

      Pablo Nava Jaimes*, Alejandro Martínez Reyes, Daniel García Lara, Abel Cristian Patiño Coyuca
      J Acupunct Meridian Stud 2022; 15(4): 201-213 https://doi.org/10.51507/j.jams.2022.15.4.201

      The sinew channels are a tendon and muscle network, and their description is based on the observation presented on the Huangdi Neijing Ling Shu. However, the myofascial system is an uninterrupted series of connective tissue that is comprised of layers that run in different directions. The similarities on these pathways are compared, such as a brief description on the myofascial pain syndrome and its similitude with the Impediment disorder from the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Furthermore, we discuss the treatment of these conditions from a Traditional Chinese Medicine perspective.

    • Research Article2022-04-30

      Trigger Point Acupuncture and Exercise for Chronic Low Back Pain in Older Adult: a Preliminary Randomized Clinical Trial

      Yoichi Minakawa1,2,*, Shogo Miyazaki1,2, Hideaki Waki1,2, Naruto Yoshida1,2, Kaori Iimura3, Kazunori Itoh4
      J Acupunct Meridian Stud 2022; 15(2): 143-151 https://doi.org/10.51507/j.jams.2022.15.2.143
      Abstract

      Background: Exercise therapy is the first choice non-pharmacotherapeutic approach for musculoskeletal pain; however, it often interferes with the implementation and continuation of exercise due to fear-avoidance behaviors. Trigger point acupuncture (TrPAcp) has been reported to reduce musculoskeletal pain.Objectives: To examine the efficacy of exercise combined with TrPAcp compared to exercise alone for older patients with chronic low back pain (CLBP), the most common subjective symptom reported by old people of both sexes in Japan.Methods: In this single-center randomized controlled trial conducted at Teikyo Heisei University, 15 men and women aged ≥ 65 years with low back pain for at least 3 months who met the eligibility criteria were included. The Ex+TrPAcp group received exercise and trigger point acupuncture, while the Ex group received only exercise for 3 months. The main outcome, pain intensity, was measured using the numerical rating scale (NRS). Improvement was defined as a decrease in NRS of ≥ 2 or less than moderate (NRS < 4).Results: The analysis included 7 of 8 cases in the Ex+TrPAcp group and 7 of 7 cases in the Ex group. NRS improved in 6 of 7 and 1 of 7 patients in the intervention and control groups, respectively, with a significant difference between groups (p = 0.03, φ = 0.71). Regarding adverse events due to acupuncture, one patient (14.3%) complained of heaviness after acupuncture. Nothing specific was reported with exercise.Conclusion: Compared with Ex alone, Ex+TrPAcp may be more effective therapy for older people with CLBP who do not have an exercise habit.

    • Review Article2022-10-31

      Acupuncture for Osteoporosis: a Review of Its Clinical and Preclinical Studies

      Yimiao Tian1,†, Lili Wang2,†, Tianshu Xu1, Rui Li1, Ruyuan Zhu1, Beibei Chen1, Hao Zhang1, Bingke Xia1, Yiwen Che3, Dandan Zhao1,*, Dongwei Zhang1,*
      J Acupunct Meridian Stud 2022; 15(5): 281-299 https://doi.org/10.51507/j.jams.2022.15.5.281
      Abstract

      Acupuncture has gained growing attention in the management of osteoporosis (OP). However, a comprehensive review has not yet been conducted on the efficacy and challenges of acupuncture in preliminary research and clinical trials. Therefore, an extensive literature search was conducted using electronic databases, including PubMed (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed), CNKI (www.cnki.net), and Web of Science, for studies published from the beginning of 2000 to the end of May 2022. Combinations of synonyms for OP, acupuncture, traditional Chinese medicine, clinical trial, preclinical study, and animal experiments were searched. A total of 290 papers were consulted, including 115 reviews, 109 clinical observations, and 66 preclinical studies. There is accumulating evidence to support the beneficial role of acupuncture in preserving bone quality and relieving clinical symptoms based on clinical and preclinical investigations. The top ten most commonly used acupoints are BL23, ST36, BL20, BL11, CV4, GV4, SP 6, KI3, BL18, and GB39. The underlying mechanisms behind the benefits of acupuncture may be linked with the regulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (adrenal) axis and activation of the Wnt/β-catenin and OPG/RANKL/RANK signaling pathways. In summary, strong evidence may still come from prospective and well-designed clinical trials to shed light on the potential role of acupuncture in preserving bone loss. Future investigations are needed to explore the potential underlying mechanisms, long-term clinical efficacy, and compliance of acupuncture in OP management.

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