Auricular acupuncture is used to treat cardiac-related diseases such as hypertension. Therefore, the purpose of the present study was to investigate the effects of auricular acupuncture on blood pressure (BP) in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRs). The treatment group (TG) received auricular electroacupuncture (EA) at the auricle heart (CO15) and auricle shenmen (TEF3) points. Heart rate (HR) and BP, GABA-A expression, catecholamine, and neurotransmitter levels were measured. The HR was reduced after 7 auricular EA treatments compared with controls (all < 0.05). Systolic BP and diastolic BP also decreased immediately and throughout the treatments compared with controls (all < 0.05). The reduction of BP and HR was reversed by bicuculline injection 30 min before auricular EA treatment (all < 0.05). GABA levels in the adrenal gland were higher with auricular EA treatment compared with the control group at 4 h ( < 0.05). Levels of serum noradrenaline and adrenaline were reduced at 15 min after final auricular EA treatment compared with the normal control group (both < 0.05). The lowering of BP and HR by auricular EA is possibly mediated via vagal afferents from the concha to the nucleus of the solitary tract. After signal integration in the medulla oblongata, it may be transmitted through sympathetic efferent or vagal efferent or through multiple signaling pathways simultaneously to the atrionector of heart and the adrenal medulla. Further study is warranted.
Copyright © 2020 Huong Thi Mai Nguyen et al.