Induction of Hyperalgesia in Pigs through Blocking Low Hydraulic Resistance Channels and Reduction of the Resistance through Acupuncture: A Mechanism of Action of Acupuncture.

Author: Zhang WB, Xu YH, Tian YY, Li H, Wang GJ, Huang T, Jia SY.
Institute of Acupuncture & Moxibustion, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing 100700, China.
Conference/Journal: Evid Based Complement Alternat Med.
Date published: 2013
Other: Volume ID: 2013 , Pages: 654645 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1155/2013/654645 , Word Count: 201

According to the classic theory of Chinese medicine, pain is due to the blockage in meridian channels, and acupuncture was invented to treat pain by "dredging" the channels. To test the theory, a hyperalgesia model was made by injecting hydrogel into low hydraulic resistance channel (LHRC) in 12 anaesthetized minipigs. Tail-flick threshold and ear-flick threshold were measured using a thermal radiation dolorimeter, and relative flick threshold (RFT) was calculated. Hydraulic resistance (HR) was measured with a biological HR measuring instrument on low HR points on LHRC and on control points with higher HR located outside LHRC; readings were recorded before, during, and after acupuncture treatment. RFT decreased after blocking the LRHC and was still significantly decreased 2 days and 4 days afterwards. No significant changes occurred when injecting saline into the same points or injecting gel into points outside the channel. Subsequent acupuncture reduced HR on LRHC along meridians but had no significant effect on sites with higher HR located outside LHRC. One of the mechanisms of action of acupuncture treatment for chronic pain may be that acupuncture affects peripheral tissue by reducing the HR in LHRC along meridians, improving the flow of interstitial fluid and removing algogenic substances and thereby relieving pain.
PMID: 23997798