Mechanism of Acupoint Selection Along Meridians to Improve Adenosine Receptor of Myocardial Ischemia Based on Acupoint Specificity

OBJECTIVE:

To explore the action mechanism of acupoint selection along meridians to improve adenosine receptor in myocardial ischemia (MI) rats by comparing the effects of acupoint selection along meridians, acupoint selection at other meridians and non-acupoint on expression of adenosine receptor.

METHODS:

A total of 120 SD rats were randomly divided into a blank group, a sham operation group, a model group, an acupoint-selection-along-meridians (ASAM) group, an acupoint-selection-at-other-meridians (ASAOM) group and a non-acupoint group, 20 rats in each group. The model of MI was not made in the blank group; the left anterior descending coronary artery was not ligated after thoracotomy in the sham operation group; the model of MI was made but acupuncture was not given in the model group. After the model of MI was made, electroacupuncture (EA) was applied at “Neiguan” (PC 6) in the ASAM group, at “Hegu” (LI 4) in the ASAOM group, and at the area between the third and fourth metatarsal bone in the non-acupoint group. EA was given 20 min per treatment, once a day for 5 days. After treatment, the TTC staining was used to detect myocardial infarction, the Tunel method was used to detect cardiomyocyte apoptosis, and the immunohistochemistry was used to detect the expression of adenosine receptors A1, A2a and A2b.

RESULTS:

Compared with the blank group and the sham operation group, the percentage of myocardial infarction and apoptotic rate of myocardial cells in the model group were increased significantly (P<0.01). After EA treatment, compared with the model group, the percentage of myocardial infarction and apoptotic rate of myocardial cells in the ASAM group were decreased significantly (P<0.01), and the expression levels of adenosine receptors A1, A2a and A2b were increased significantly (P<0.01). The percentage of myocardial infarction and apoptotic rate of myocardial cells in the ASAM group were significantly lower than those in the ASAOM group and the non-acupoint group (P<0.01), and the expression levels of adenosine receptors A1, A2a and A2b in the ASAM group were significantly higher than those in the ASAOM group and non-acupoint group (P<0.01).

CONCLUSION:

Compared with acupoint selection at other meridians or non-acupoints, acupoint selection along meridians can effectively regulate the expression of adenosine receptors A1, A2a and A2b, improve the condition of myocardial infarction, inhibit myocardialcell apoptosis, and consequently protect ischemic myocardium.