Background: This study was conducted to analyse the differences in the efficacy of the treatment of Diabetic Gastroparesis (DGP) in rats by the selection of different acupoints and investigate whether these were a main factor affecting the effect of acupoint compatibility.
Materials and Methods: Sixty male SPF SD rats, 12 rats each, were randomly divided into a blank control group, a model group, the Zusanli and Zhongwan group (ZZ), the Zusanli and Neiguan group (ZN), and a Zusanli (ST36) and non-acupoint (ZNA) group after adaptive feeding for 1 w. Except for the blank control group, the remaining 48 rats were used to establish the rat model of DGP by using Streptozotocin-normal feeding. At the end of the 10th w, acupuncture treatment was started. After 4 w of continuous acupuncture, the rats were sacrificed and the hypothalamus was obtained. The content of ghrelin protein in the hypothalamus was detected by immunohistochemistry, and the expressions of ghrelin and GHSR mRNA were detected by real-time PCR.
Results: Compared with the blank control group, food intake, the expression of ghrelin in the hypothalamus and expression of GHSR mRNA in the hypothalamus of the model group increased significantly, while the propulsive rate in the small intestine, and the gray scale of the hypothalamic ghrelin decreased significantly (P<0.05). Compared with the model group, the expression of ghrelin and GHSR mRNA in the hypothalamus of the ZZ group, the ZN and the ZNA groups decreased significantly, while the propulsive rate in the small intestine, and the gray scale of hypothalamic ghrelin increased significantly (P<0.05). Compared with the ZZ group, the food intake in the ZN and the ZNA groups increased, while expressions of both ghrelin and GHSR mRNA of the ZN group increased (P<0.05). Further, the local acupoints provided better compatibility than the distal acupoints.
Conclusion: The improvement of gastrointestinal motility of DGP by acupuncture is associated with expressions of ghrelin and GHSR in the hypothalamus of rats. Selection of acupoints based on different body sections is the main factor affecting the effect of acupoints compatibility.