Exp Neurobiol 2007; 16(2): 71-78

Published online December 31, 2007

© The Korean Society for Brain and Neural Sciences

The Effects of Electroacupuncture Stimulation on Streptozotocin-induced Diabetes in Rats

Hye-Young Joung1, Sung-Moo Han2, Kwang-Ho Pyun1 and Insop Shim1*

1Department of Integrative Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, College of Medicine, Seoul 137-701, 2Department of Biomedical, Engineering, Kyung Hee University, Suwon 446-701, Korea

Correspondence to: *To whom correspondence should be addressed.
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Diabetes mellitus (DM), a recently recognized important disease, has fast increased and coexists with secondary complications such as hypertension. The purposes of this study were to investigate the effects of electroacupuncture (EA) stimulation at Zusanli (ST36) on kidney weights, blood glucose levels, blood pressure, plasma creatinine levels, and expression of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) of the locus coeruleus (LC) in streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic rats. Based on basal body weight and blood glucose levels, SD rats were maintained for three weeks and classified into three groups, which were the NOR group, without-treated group; the DM-CON group, the STZ-induced-diabetes and non-treated EA; the DM-ST36 group, the STZ-induced- diabetes with EA stimulation at ST36 group. Within 3 weeks STZ treatment, the diabetic groups (the DM-CON and the DM-ST36) demonstrated significantly less body weightsand hyperglycemia than the NOR group. Also, the significant increases in kidney weight, plasma creatinine levels, and blood pressure were observed in diabetic groups but there was no difference in heart rates. EA stimulation at ST36 significantly reduced blood pressure and plasma creatinine levels. However, weight of kidney and plasma glucose levels had not affected. In addition, EA stimulation at ST36 significantly reduced the increase of TH-immunoreactivities of the LC induced by STZ treatment. These findings suggest that EA stimulation at ST36 is effective in the treatment of the diabetic hypertension, even though it cannot control the plasma glucose levels.

Keywords: diabetic hypertension, zusanli acupoint (ST36), body weight, kidney weight, blood pressure