Involvement of the mechanoreceptors in the sensory mechanisms of manual and electrical acupuncture

Hiromi Yamamoto, Toru Kawada, Atsunori Kamiya, Shunichi Miyazaki, Masaru Sugimachi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


The modalities of acupuncture can be broadly classified into manual acupuncture (MA) and electroacupuncture (EA). Although MA has been reported to cause winding of tissue around the needle and subsequent activation of the sensory mechanoreceptors and nociceptors, the sensory mechanisms of acupuncture stimulation are not fully understood. To test the hypothesis that the involvement of the mechanoreceptors in the sensory mechanism is different in MA and EA, we examined the effects of a stretch-activated channel blocker gadolinium on the hemodynamic responses to hind limb MA and EA in anesthetized rats (n. =9). Gadolinium significantly attenuated the MA-induced bradycardic response (-22 ± 5 vs. -10 ± 3 bpm, P < 0.05) and tended to attenuate the MA-induced depressor response (-30 ±5 vs. -18 ±4 mm Hg, P=0.06). On the other hand, gadolinium significantly attenuated both the EA-induced bradycardic (-22 ±5 vs. -9 ±4. bpm, P < 0.01) and depressor responses (-32 ±6 vs. -15 ±5. mm. Hg, P < 0.01). These results indicate that the mechanoreceptors are involved in the sensory mechanisms for both MA and EA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-31
Number of pages5
JournalAutonomic Neuroscience: Basic and Clinical
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 24 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Acupuncture
  • Aortic depressor nerve
  • Arterial blood pressure
  • Gadolinium
  • Heart rate
  • Mechanoreceptor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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