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Papers of the Week

2021 Feb 17

Int J Mol Sci



Electroacupuncture at Neurogenic Spots in Referred Pain Areas Attenuates Hepatic Damages in Bile Duct-Ligated Rats.


Yi Y J, Kim D H, Chang S, Ryu Y, Kim S C, Kim H Y
Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Feb 17; 22(4).
PMID: 33671269.


Visceral pain frequently produces referred pain at somatic sites due to the convergence of somatic and visceral afferents. In skin overlying the referred pain, neurogenic spots characterized by hyperalgesia, tenderness and neurogenic inflammation are found. We investigated whether neurogenic inflammatory spots function as acupoints in the rat model of bile duct ligation-induced liver injury. The majority of neurogenic spots were found in the dorsal trunk overlying the referred pain and matched with locations of acupoints. The spots, as well as acupoints, showed high electrical conductance and enhanced expression of the neuropeptides substance P (SP) and calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP). Electroacupuncture at neurogenic spots reduced serum hepatocellular enzyme activities and histological patterns of acute liver injury in bile duct ligation (BDL) rats. The results suggest that the neurogenic spots have therapeutic effects as acupoints on hepatic injury in bile-duct ligated rats.