Acupunct Med 30:47-50 doi:10.1136/acupmed-2011-010060
  • Education and practice

The influence of PC6 on cardiovascular disorders: a review of central neural mechanisms

Open Access
  1. Hua Wang1
  1. 1Department of Acupuncture and Moxibustion, Hubei University of Chinese Medicine, Wuhan, China
  2. 2Department of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China
  1. Correspondence to Hua Wang, Department of Acupuncture and Moxibustion, Hubei University of Chinese Medicine, Wuhan 430061, China; Hwang.TCM{at}
  1. Contributors JL and JL participated in the design of the study and prepared the manuscript. ZC and FL conceived and coordinated the study. SW revised the manuscript. HW obtained funding for the research project and drafted the protocol. The first two authors contributed equally to this work. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

  • Accepted 1 January 2012


PC6 is a classic acupuncture point in traditional Chinese medicine. It is considered to be effective when treating cardiovascular disorders. In the present review the authors have focused on the neurophysiological bases of the effects of PC6 stimulation on cardiovascular mechanisms. Experimental studies have shown that the hypothalamic rostral ventrolateral medulla, arcuate nucleus and ventrolateral periaqueductal gray are involved in acupuncture attenuation of sympathoexcitatory cardiovascular reflex responses. This long-loop pathway also appears to contribute to the long-lasting, acupuncture-mediated attenuation of sympathetic premotor outflow and excitatory cardiovascular reflex responses. Acupuncture of PC6 modulates the activity in the cardiovascular system, an effect that may be attributed to attenuation of sympathoexcitatory cardiovascular reflex responses.


  • Funding The current work was partly supported by the Natural Science Foundation of China (no 30973786) and research projects of the Educational Commission of Hubei Province of China (no Q20101810).

  • Competing interests None.

  • Ethics approval This study was conducted with the approval of Hubei University of Chinese Medicine, Hubei, China.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

This paper is freely available online under the BMJ Journals unlocked scheme, see