Role of collagen fibers in acupuncture analgesia therapy on rats.

Author: Yu X, Ding G, Huang H, Lin J, Yao W, Zhan R.
Department of Mechanics and Engineering Science, Fudan University, Shanghai, China.
Conference/Journal: Connect Tissue Res.
Date published: 2009
Other: Volume ID: 50 , Issue ID: 2 , Pages: 110-20 , Word Count: 146

Acupuncture, a traditional Chinese therapeutic technique, has been put into practice for more than 4000 years and widely used for pain management since 1958. However, what is the mechanism underlying the acupuncture for analgesia effects by stimulation of acupoints, what substances receive the original mechanical acupuncture signals from the acupoints, or what transforms these signals into effective biological signals are not well understood. In this work, the role of collagen fibers at acupoints during acupuncture analgesia on rats was investigated. When the structure of the collagen fibers at Zusanli (ST36) was destroyed by injection of type I collagenase, the needle force caused by the acupuncture declined and the analgesic effects of rotation or lift-thrusting manipulations was attenuated accompanying the restraint of the degranulation ratios of mast cells. We propose that collagen fibers play an important role in acupuncture-induced analgesia, and they participate in signal transmission and transform processes.