Acupuncture at Back-Shu and Front-Mu Acupoints Prevents Gastric Ulcer by Regulating the TLR4/MyD88/NF-κB Signaling Pathway
To assess the preventive effects of acupuncture at back-shu and front-mu acupoints on rats with restraint water-immersion stress (RWIS)-induced gastric ulcer.
Thirty-six rats were randomly divided into four groups for 10 days of treatment as follows: the normal group received no treatment; the model group received RWIS-induced gastric ulcer; the omeprazole group was administered omeprazole orally every 2 days; and the electroacupuncture group received electroacupuncture at the RN12 and BL21 acupoints every 2 days. After 10 days of treatment, except for the normal group, all rats were induced with gastric ulcer by RWIS for 3 h. The ulcer index (UI), ulcer inhibition rate, and histopathological score were calculated. We determined the levels of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and interleukin (IL)-6 in serum, and the activities of myeloperoxidase (MPO), malondialdehyde (MDA), superoxide dismutase (SOD), nitric oxide (NO), and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) in serum and gastric tissues. Protein expression of MyD88, nuclear factor (NF)-κB (p65), and toll-like receptor (TLR) 4 was quantified in gastric tissues.
The electroacupuncture and omeprazole groups were equivalent in terms of UI, ulcer inhibition rate, and histopathological score. The serum levels of TNF-α and IL-6 were significantly lower in the electroacupuncture group compared with the omeprazole group ( < 0.05). Compared with the model group, there were significant changes in the levels of NO, MPO, GSH-Px, and MDA in all other groups, while the expression of TLR4, MyD88, and NF-κB p65 in gastric tissue decreased significantly in the electroacupuncture group. The expression of TLR4 was substantially lower in the electroacupuncture group compared with the omeprazole group.
Acupuncture at back-shu and front-mu acupoints played a role in preventing gastric ulcer by inhibiting extracellular signals, stimulating kinases in serum and gastric tissues, and activating the inhibition of the TLR4 signaling pathway.
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