Effects of acupuncture stimulation on blood glucose concentration in the Otsuka Long-Evans Tokushima Fatty (OLETF) rat, an animal model for type-2 diabetes mellitus
Hironori Nakamura, Tatsuyo Ishigami, Yoshiyuki Kawase, Atsushi Yamada, Munenori Minagawa, Hiroyasu Fukuta, Yasuzo Kurono, Hikaru Suzuki
Department of Cell Physiology, Nagoya City University Medical School, Nagoya, Japan
Med Sci Monit Basic Res 2014; 20:70-75
Available online: 2014-05-19
Effects of acupuncture stimulation on blood glucose concentration and body weight were investigated in the Otsuka Long-Evans Tokushima Fatty (OLETF) rat, a model for type-2 diabetes.
Material and Methods: Three groups of rats were used: OLETF, acupuncture-treated OLETF (AcOLETF), and Long-Evans Tokushima Otsuka (LETO) rats (as control for the OLETF rats). In AcOLETF rats, acupuncture stimulation was applied twice a week to 6 points (zhongwan, tianshu, qihai, ganshu, pishu, shenshu) and changes in blood glucose concentration and body weight were measured.
Results: Initially, at 6 weeks old, there was no significant difference in blood glucose levels between groups. Blood glucose levels increased with age in each group, reaching a maximum of about 430 mg/dl at 37 weeks in OLETF rats. In AcOLETF rats, blood glucose levels increased at a slower rate than in OLETF rats, reaching a maximum concentration of about 280 mg/dl at 37 weeks of age, significantly lower than that in OLETF rats. The concentration of blood glucose in LETO rats had stabilized at a maximum value of 120~140 mg/dl by 16 weeks, remaining at this level for up to 39 weeks. In each group, body weight increased with age and was not affected by acupuncture treatment.
Conclusions: In OLETF rats, acupuncture treatment significantly reduced blood glucose levels, but not their body weight, suggesting that acupuncture therapy was effective in preventing the development of type-2 diabetes mellitus.
Keywords: Animals, Acupuncture Therapy, Acupuncture Points, Blood Glucose - metabolism, Body Weight, Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 - therapy, Disease Models, Animal, Rats, Rats, Inbred OLETF, Skin - pathology