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Comparison of the effects of pretreatment with repeated electroacupuncture at GV20 and ST36 on fatigue in rats
  1. Kai Guo1,
  2. Jinyu Zhu1,
  3. Xin Quan1,
  4. Dawei Zhang1,
  5. Xiaoyong Chen1,
  6. Chongfei Yang1,
  7. Xiaojie Li1,
  8. Jun Shi1,
  9. Wendong Hu2,
  10. Qingsheng Zhu1
  1. 1Department of Orthopedics, Xijing Hospital, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi'an, Shaanxi, China
  2. 2Department of Aerospace Medical Equipment, Faculty of Aerospace Medicine, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi'an, Shaanxi, China
  1. Correspondence to Professor Qingsheng Zhu, Department of Orthopedics, Xijing Hospital, Fourth Military Medical University, 15 West Changle Road, Xi'an, Shaanxi 710032, China; zhuqsh{at}


Objective To investigate and compare the effects of electroacupuncture (EA) pretreatment at GV20 and ST36 on fatigue in rats.

Methods Rats were randomly allocated into 4 groups: control, fatigue, fatigue+GV20 and fatigue+ST36. The last two groups received EA pretreatment at GV20 or ST36 for 5 days before being maintained in cages filled with water to a height of 1.5 cm to establish an animal model of fatigue. We used the weight-loaded forced swimming test and open-field test and measured 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA)/5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) ratios and serum levels of blood urea nitrogen (BUN), lactic dehydrogenase (LDH) and testosterone as behavioural and biochemical markers of fatigue in the rats.

Results Compared with controls, rats in the (untreated) fatigue group exhibited reduced weight-loaded swimming times and total movement/distance in the open-field test, plus higher BUN/LDH and lower testosterone levels. Both EA pretreatment at GV20 and ST36 increased swimming times, and reduced serum BUN/LDH. EA pretreatment at GV20 (but not ST36) increased serum testosterone. The 5-HIAA/5-HT ratios in four brain regions were decreased in the fatigue+GV20 group compared with the fatigue group (p<0.05). By contrast, 5-HIAA/5-HT ratios in striatum and hypothalamus (but not hippocampus or midbrain) were decreased in the fatigue+ST36 group compared with the fatigue group (p<0.05). Furthermore, only pretreatment at GV20 affected the results of the open-field test.

Conclusions These results suggest that EA pretreatment had a positive effect on the prevention of fatigue. Pretreatment at GV20 had a greater anti-fatigue effect than pretreatment at ST36.


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