Background:A hyperdynamic circulation and impaired vascular responsiveness to vasoconstrictors are observed in portal hypertension (PHT) rats. Inflammation is a major contributor to the hyperdynamic circulation state in murine models of PHT. Electroacupuncture (EA) may ameliorate the inflammatory response and limit arterial vasodilatation and portal pressure. This study investigated the possible mechanisms underlying putative hemodynamics effects of EA in normal and PHT rats.Methods:PHT was induced by bile duct ligation (BDL) surgery over 4 weeks in rats. Sham-operated and BDL rats were treated with low-frequency EA (2 Hz) at ST36 10 min three times weekly for one or two consecutive weeks (for a total of 3 or 7 treatments, respectively). Serum tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), nitrite/nitrate (NOx) and 6-keto-prostaglandin F1α (6-keto-PGF1α) were analyzed, and hemodynamic variation and contractile responses to phorbol-12,13-dibutyrate and phenylephrine in aortic and superior mesenteric arterial rings were recorded. Inducible (i) and endothelial (3) nitric oxide synthase (NOS), cyclooxygenase-1 (COX-1), and protein kinase C-α (PKC-α) levels were determined by Western blotting.Results:EA significantly reduced portal pressure and serum TNF-α, NOx and 6-keto-PGF1α levels compared to the untreated BDL group, enhanced maximum contractile responses in the aorta, up-regulated PKC-α, and down-regulated iNOS and COX-1 levels. In addition, EA decreased the aortic angiogenesis signaling cascade, reflected by down-regulation of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) abundance and transforming growth factor β receptor (TGFβR)I/II expression, as assessed by immunostaining.Conclusion:EA attenuates TNF-α, NO and 6-keto-PGF1α overproduction, modulates the vascular levels of constitutive NOS and PKC-α, blunts the development of the angiogenesis cascade, and enhances vascular contractile force in PHT rats.
Acupuncture in Medicine – SAGE
Published: Jan 1, 2021