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Electroacupuncture-induced neural activation detected by use of manganese-enhanced functional magnetic resonance imaging in rabbits

Jen-Hwey ChiuInstitute of Traditional Medicine, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China.
Division of General Surgery, Veterans General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China.

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Hui-Cheng ChengDepartment of Medical Research/Education, Veterans General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China.
Neural Regeneration Lab, Department of Neurosurgery, Veterans General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China.
Radiology, Veterans General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China.

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Chih-Ho TaiInstitute of Traditional Medicine, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China.

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Jen-Chuen HsiehInstitute of Neuroscience, School of Medicine, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China.
Department of Medical Research/Education, Veterans General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China.
Anesthesiology, Veterans General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China.

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Tzu-Cheng YehRadiology, Veterans General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China.

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Henrich ChengDepartment of Medical Research/Education, Veterans General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China.
Radiology, Veterans General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China.
Neural Regeneration Lab, Department of Neurosurgery, Veterans General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China.

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Jaung-Geng LinInstitute of Traditional Medicine, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China.

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Low-Tone HoDepartment of Medical Research/Education, Veterans General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China.

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Abstract

Objective—To investigate the effects of acupuncture on neural activity detected by use of manganeseenhanced functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and elucidate the relationship between somatic acupoint stimulation and brain activation.

Animals—40 New Zealand White rabbits.

Procedure—Manganese-enhanced fMRI was performed in anesthetized rabbits manipulated with electroacupuncture (EA) on Zusanli (ST-36) and Yanglingquan (GB-34) acupoints. Image acquisition was performed on a 1.5T superconductive clinical scanner with a circular polarized extremity coil. T1- weighted images were acquired sequentially as follows: baseline, after mannitol injection, after manganese infusion, and 5 and 20 minutes after initiation of EA.

Results—Changes in focal neural activity were detected by use of manganese-enhanced fMRI. Stimulation on Zusanli (ST-36) for 5 minutes resulted in activation of the hippocampus, whereas stimulation on Yanglingquan (GB-34) resulted in activation of the hypothalamus, insula, and motor cortex. Activation became less specific after 20 minutes of EA. Furthermore, stimulation on ipsilateral acupoints led to bilateral brain activation.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Each acupoint has a corresponding cerebral linkage, and stimulation on these points resulted in time-dependent neural activation. Understanding the linkage between peripheral acupoint stimulation and central neural pathways may provide a useful guide for clinical applications of acupuncture. (Am J Vet Res 2001;62:178–182)

Abstract

Objective—To investigate the effects of acupuncture on neural activity detected by use of manganeseenhanced functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and elucidate the relationship between somatic acupoint stimulation and brain activation.

Animals—40 New Zealand White rabbits.

Procedure—Manganese-enhanced fMRI was performed in anesthetized rabbits manipulated with electroacupuncture (EA) on Zusanli (ST-36) and Yanglingquan (GB-34) acupoints. Image acquisition was performed on a 1.5T superconductive clinical scanner with a circular polarized extremity coil. T1- weighted images were acquired sequentially as follows: baseline, after mannitol injection, after manganese infusion, and 5 and 20 minutes after initiation of EA.

Results—Changes in focal neural activity were detected by use of manganese-enhanced fMRI. Stimulation on Zusanli (ST-36) for 5 minutes resulted in activation of the hippocampus, whereas stimulation on Yanglingquan (GB-34) resulted in activation of the hypothalamus, insula, and motor cortex. Activation became less specific after 20 minutes of EA. Furthermore, stimulation on ipsilateral acupoints led to bilateral brain activation.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Each acupoint has a corresponding cerebral linkage, and stimulation on these points resulted in time-dependent neural activation. Understanding the linkage between peripheral acupoint stimulation and central neural pathways may provide a useful guide for clinical applications of acupuncture. (Am J Vet Res 2001;62:178–182)