Aim To evaluate the behavioural effects of head electroacupuncture (EA) using the Holtzman rat model, a genetic strain showing susceptibility to stress-evoked helplessness.
Methods Putative anxiolytic and antidepressant behavioural effects of head EA were investigated using the light-dark and forced swim tests, respectively. The open field test was used to investigate motor activity. A total of 28 rats were used in two experiments, each with two groups (n=7 rats each). Rats were restrained and randomised to handling only (control) or 2Hz EA on the midline head anteriorly (at Yintang) and posteriorly (at GV20) for 3 days (experiment 1) or 4 days (experiment 2).
Results One day of EA did not modify behaviour in any of the tests (p>0.1); however, 2 days of 2 Hz EA treatment to the head had anxiolytic-like effects, as indicated by an improvement in ambulatory time and average velocity in the light-dark test (experiment 2). Relative to the control group, the EA group demonstrated greater ambulatory time (37.0±3.7 vs 25.2±3.6 s, p<0.05) and lower average velocity (2.73±0.06 vs 3.08±0.13 cm/s, p<0.05). However, EA treatment had no significant effects on the open field and forced swim tests in either experiment.
Conclusions Two days of EA treatment using 2 Hz pulsating electrical current at midline anterior and posterior acupuncture points on the head induces behavioural effects suggestive of anxiolysis.
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.