Electroacupuncture-induced pressor and chronotropic effects in anesthetized rats

Jiuan Miaw Liao, Hua Ting, Shin Da Lee, Chao Hsun Yang, Ying Ming Liou, Mei Lin Peng, Shih Jei Tsai, Chih Feng Lin, Tzer Bin Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


The effects of electroacupuncture (Ea) on circulatory dynamics were investigated in anesthetized rats. The arterial blood pressure (BP) and the heart rate (HR) in response to Ea stimulations at the Tsusanli point (St-36) and the Hoku point (Li-4) were tested by a low frequency Ea (2 Hz; LFEa) and a high frequency Ea (20 Hz; HFEa) with stimulation intensities 20 times the motor threshold. Neither the HR nor the BP was affected when the Tsusanli point was stimulated. Whereas, Ea stimulations at the Hoku point elicit chronotropic and pressor effects. The patterns of pressor responses caused by the LFEa were different from that of an HFEa, i.e., the LFEa elicited a tonic effect, while an HFEa had a phasic one. The HFEa-induced pressor and chronotropic effects were attenuated, while the LFEa induced effects were completely blocked by an intravenous infusion of an alpha-adrenergic blocker (moxisylyte 0.2 mg/min/kg, i.v., for 20 min). A co-infusion with alpha-and beta-adrenergic blockers (propanolol 0.2 mg/min/kg, i.v., for 20 min) completely blocked the HFEa-induced pressor and chronotropic effects. We concluded that Ea stimulations, at the Hoku acupoint, with appropriate stimulation parameters can increase and maintain BP. Furthermore, the LFEa stimulation activates sympathetic vasomotor tone, whereas the HFEa stimulation causes an additional potentiation on the sympathetic drive to the heart.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-25
Number of pages8
JournalAutonomic Neuroscience: Basic and Clinical
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 30 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Blood pressure
  • Heart rate
  • Hoku
  • Rat
  • Stimulation
  • Tsusanli

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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