2 Hz electro-acupuncture at yinlingquan (SP9) and ququan (LR8) acupoints induces changes in blood flow in the liver and spleen
According to the principles of traditional Chinese medicine, channels and collaterals within the body provide pathways through which qi and blood travel, and each channel or collateral is linked with a specific organ. The Yinlingquan (spleen 9, SP9) and Ququan (liver 8, LR8) acupoints represent the sea points of the spleen and liver meridians, respectively, from which qi and blood flow into their specific visceral organs. The purpose of this study was to investigate the changes in blood flow/perfusion in the liver and spleen resulting from the application of 2 Hz electro-acupuncture (EA) to the Yinlingquan (SP9) or Ququan (LR8) acupoints. A total of 18 Spragrue-Dawley rats were randomly divided into three groups of six rats each as follows: sham group receiving sham EA; Yinlingquan (SP9) group receiving 2 Hz EA, applied at bilateral Yinlingquan (SP9) acupoints; and Ququan (LR8) groups receiving 2 Hz EA, applied at bilateral Ququan (LR8) acupoints. The mean blood flow/perfusion of the spleen and liver was recorded using a laser Doppler blood flow monitor prior to EA (representing the baseline), during EA, and post-EA. Each measurement period lasted ten minutes. Nitric oxide levels were also measured from the right femoral arterial blood, following the conclusion of each series of blood flow/perfusion recordings. The results indicate that the sham EA did not increase the mean blood flow/perfusion in the liver or spleen; 2 Hz EA at bilateral Yinlingquan (SP9) acupoints increased the mean blood flow/perfusion in the spleen, but not in the liver. In contrast, 2 Hz EA at bilateral Ququan (LR8) acupoints increased the mean blood flow/perfusion in the liver, but not in the spleen. Nitric oxide levels showed no significant difference between any of the groups at any stage of the measurements. According to the results, we conclude that EA at the Yinlingquan (SP9) and Ququan (LR8) acupoints can increase the blood flow in the spleen and liver, respectively.