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The effect of electrical stimulation of the pudendal nerve on sciatic nerve blood flow in animals
  1. Motohiro Inoue, research associate, licensed acupuncturist1,
  2. Tatsuya Hojo, professor, orthopaedic surgeon2,
  3. Miwa Nakajima, licensed acupuncturist3,
  4. Hiroshi Kitakoji, professor, licensed acupuncturist4,
  5. Megumi Itoi, professor, orthopaedic surgeon5,
  6. Yasukazu Katsumi, professor, orthopaedic surgeon6
  1. 1
    Department of Clinical Acupuncture and Moxibustion Meiji University of Integrative Medicine Kyoto, Japan
  2. 2
    Department of Orthopaedics Graduate School of Medical Science Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine Kyoto, Japan
  3. 3
    Department of Orthopedic Surgery
  4. 4
    Department of Clinical Acupuncture and Moxibustion
  5. 5
    Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
  6. 6
    Department of Orthopaedic Surgery Meiji University of Integrative Medicine Kyoto, Japan
  1. mo_inoue{at}meiji-u.ac.jp

Abstract

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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