Electroacupuncture at LI11 promotes jejunal motility via the parasympathetic pathway
Background. The roles of the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems in mediating the effect of electroacupuncture (EA) at ST37 on jejunal motility have yet to be demonstrated. Aim. We used rats and mice to investigate the effect and mechanism of action of EA at ST37 on jejunal motility. Methods. Jejunal motility was recorded by a balloon placed in the jejunum and connected to a biological signal collection system through a transducer. The effects of EA (3 mA) at ST37 were evaluated in Sprague-Dawley rats without drugs and with the administration of clenbuterol, propranolol, acetylcholine, and atropine. Further, the efficacy of EA at different intensities (1/2/4/6/8 mA) was measured in wild-type mice and β1β2-/- mice and M2M3-/- mice. Results. In Sprague-Dawley rats, the excitatory effect of EA at ST37 on jejunal motility disappeared in the presence of the muscarinic receptor antagonist atropine. EA at ST37 was less effective in M2M3-/- mice than in wild-type mice. Furthermore, to a certain extent, there existed "intensity-response" relationship between jejunal motility and EA. Conclusions. EA at ST37 can enhance jejunal motility in rats and mice mainly via excitation of the parasympathetic pathway. There is an "intensity-response" relationship between EA and effect on jejunal motility.