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Electroacupuncture can be a promising preventive strategy for myocardial ischemia


Researchers at Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine in China investigated the mechanisms underlying the effect of electroacupuncture pretreatment (EP) on myocardial infarction (MI) through metabolic profiling. Their findings were published in The American Journal of Chinese Medicine.

  • MI, the most common symptom of which is chest pain, occurs when blood flow to the heart decreases or stops, causing damage to the heart muscle.
  • Recent studies have shown that EP induces ischemic tolerance like ischemia preconditioning, suggesting that EP is a promising preventive strategy for MI.
  • The researchers divided male rats into two groups, one of which received EP at PC6 (neiguan point) for three days.
  • On the fourth day, the researchers further divided the two groups and subjected rats to either a mock surgery or MI induced by ligation of the left anterior descending coronary artery.
  • After 24 hours, they collected blood samples and hearts for follow-up experiments.
  • The researchers reported that EP significantly reduced the serum levels of CK-MB, cTnT, AST and MDH  and decreased the MI area.
  • Using GC-MS-based serum metabolic profiling and analysis, they identified a total of 636 characteristic peaks, including 158 known and 478 unknown metabolites.
  • They found that MI caused comprehensive metabolic changes in glycolysis-related metabolites, malate-aspartate shuttle (MAS) metabolites and purine metabolites with antioxidant functions.
  • Meanwhile, EP reversed more than half of the differential metabolic changes, mainly affecting amino acid and energy metabolism, particularly glutamate metabolism and MAS.

Based on these findings, the researchers concluded that electroacupuncture protects against myocardial infarction by regulating amino acid and energy metabolisms.

Journal Reference:

Zhang HR, Tao JL, Bai H, Yang EM, Zhong ZH, Liu XT, Gu YH, Lu SF. CHANGES IN THE SERUM METABOLOME OF ACUTE MYOCARDIAL ISCHEMIA RAT PRETREATMENT WITH ELECTROACUPUNCTURE. The American Journal of Chinese Medicine. 2019;47(05):1025–1041. DOI: 10.1142/s0192415x19500526



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