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Effects of electroacupuncture on bone mineral density, oestradiol level and osteoprotegerin ligand expression in ovariectomised rabbits
  1. Jing He,
  2. Lin Yang,
  3. Yuxi Qing,
  4. Chengqi He
  1. Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu, Sichuan, China
  1. Correspondence to Dr Chengqi He, Key Laboratory of Rehabilitation Medicine, Sichuan Province; Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, West China Hospital, No 37, GuoXue Xiang, Chengdu, Sichuan 610041, PR China; yeshj{at}


Objectives To investigate the effects of electroacupuncture (EA) on the oestradiol level, bone mineral density and osteoprotegerin ligand (OPGL) expression, and to explore whether EA might be a complementary method to prevent and treat osteoporosis.

Methods A total of 21 New Zealand rabbits were randomly divided into three groups: a normal control (NC) group undergoing no surgery or EA; an ovariectomised (OVX) group, in which rabbits were ovariectomised but did not receive EA; an EA group, in which rabbits were ovariectomised and treated with EA. Acupuncture was applied at ST35, BL20 and BL23 points bilaterally. EA (10 Hz, 2 mA) was applied bilaterally at BL20 and BL23 for 30 min a day for 14 days. After 14 days, all animals were killed. OPGL expression level was determined by immunohistochemistry. Blood serum levels of oestradiol were measured by ELISA and bone mineral density was detected by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry.

Results After ovariectomy, the bone mineral density and oestradiol level decreased significantly in the OVX group compared with the NC group (p=0.001), whereas the OPGL expression level increased. After EA, the bone mineral density and oestradiol level increased compared with the OVX group (p=0.049 and p=0.012, respectively). The OPGL level OPGL level in the EA group was lower than that in the OVX group (p=0.022).

Conclusions EA restored bone mineral density towards normal and was associated with increased plasma oestradiol level and reduced OPGL expression in an ovariectomised rabbit model of osteoporosis.

  • Acupuncture
  • Osteoporosis Arthritis
  • Therapeutics

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