Objective To investigate the mechanism of the clinical effect of electroacupuncture of the pudendal nerve on the lumbar and lower limb symptoms caused by lumbar spinal canal stenosis, we studied changes in sciatic nerve blood flow during electrical stimulation of the pudendal nerve in the rat.
Methods Using rats (n=5), efferent electrical stimulation to the pudendal nerve was performed and sciatic nerve blood flow was measured with laser Doppler flowmetry. Simultaneously, changes in the blood pressure and cardiac rate were measured. Furthermore, the effect of atropine on these responses to the stimulation was also studied.
Results Electrical stimulation of the pudendal nerve significantly increased blood flow in the sciatic nerve transiently without increasing heart rate and systemic blood pressure. The significant increase in the sciatic nerve blood flow disappeared after administration of atropine.
Conclusion Electrical stimulation of the pudendal nerve causes a transient and significant increase in sciatic nerve blood flow. This response is eliminated or attenuated by administration of atropine, indicating that it occurs mainly via cholinergic nerves.
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