Objective To observe the effect of electroacupuncture (EA) and manual acupuncture (MA) at ST25 on inflammatory mediators and nuclear factor κ-B (NF-κB) activation in rats with sodium taurocholate-induced severe acute pancreatitis (SAP).
Methods Eighty-eight male Sprague–Dawley rats were randomly divided into four groups: control (sham-operated), SAP, SAP+EA and SAP+MA (n=22 each). A SAP model was established by injecting 3.5% sodium taurocholate 1 mL/kg into the pancreatic duct. In each group, animals were killed at t=3 h (n=7), 6 h (n=7) and 12 h (n=8) after the procedure. Pancreatic expression of NF-κB was examined by immunohistochemical staining. The levels of tumour necrosis factor α (TNF-α) and interleukin 6 (IL-6) in serum were determined by ELISA. Pathological changes in the pancreas were examined microscopically.
Results Serum levels of TNF-α and IL-6 increased and morphological changes consistent with tissue damage were observed in the pancreas of SAP rats. NF-κB p65 expression was significantly higher in the SAP group than in the sham-operated group (p<0.05). Treatment with acupuncture at ST25 attenuated morphological damage and reduced levels of TNF-α and IL-6 in serum. NF-κB p65 expression was also significantly reduced by acupuncture at ST25 in the pancreas at 6 and 12 h after the procedure (p<0.05). There were no significant differences between the SAP+EA and SAP+MA groups.
Conclusions Acupuncture at ST25 might have a therapeutic effect on rats with SAP through inhibition of NF-κB expression and a reduction in the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines.
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