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World journal of gastroenterology

Effects of electroacupuncture on corticotropin-releasing hormone in rats with chronic visceral hypersensitivity.


PMID 26109804

Abstract

To investigate the effect of electroacupuncture on corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) in the colon, spinal cord, and hypothalamus of rats with chronic visceral hypersensitivity. A rat model of chronic visceral hypersensitivity was generated according to the internationally accepted method of colorectal balloon dilatation. In the 7(th) week after the procedure, rats were randomly divided into a model group (MG), electroacupuncture group (EA), and sham electroacupuncture group (S-EA). After treatment, the abdominal withdrawal reflex (AWR) score was used to assess the behavioral response of visceral hyperalgesia. Immunohistochemistry (EnVision method), ELISA, and fluorescence quantitative PCR methods were applied to detect the expression of CRH protein and mRNA in the colon, spinal cord, and hypothalamus. The sensitivity of the rats to the colorectal distension stimulus applied at different strengths (20-80 mmHg) increased with increasing stimulus strength, resulting in increasing AWR scores in each group. Compared with NG, the AWR score of MG was significantly increased (P < 0.01). After conducting EA, the AWR scores of the rats were decreased compared with MG rats. The relative expression of CRH mRNA in the colon, spinal cord, and hypothalamus of MG rats was significantly increased compared with NG rats (P < 0.01). CRH mRNA in the colon and spinal cord of EA and S-EA rats was decreased to varying degrees (P > 0.05) compared with normal rats (NG). However, the decrease in EA compared with MG rats was statistically significant (P < 0.01). The average optical density of CRH expression in the colon of the MG rats was significantly enhanced compared with NG (P < 0.05), while the average optical density of CRH expression in the EA and S-EA rats was significantly decreased compared with MG rats (P < 0.01, P < 0.05, respectively). Compared with MG rats, the CRH concentration in the spinal cord of EA rats was significantly reduced (P < 0.01), but there was no significant change in S-EA rats (P > 0.05). Electroacupuncture at the Shangjuxu acupoint was able to significantly reduce the visceral hypersensitivity in rats, and regulated the expression of CRH protein and mRNA in the colon, spinal cord and hypothalamus at different levels, playing a therapeutic role in this model of irritable bowel syndrome.