Neurochemical Research

, Volume 40, Issue 6, pp 1274–1282 | Cite as

Acupoint Specificity on Colorectal Hypersensitivity Alleviated by Acupuncture and the Correlation with the Brain–Gut Axis

  • Shao-Jun WangEmail author
  • Hao-Yan Yang
  • Fang Wang
  • Si-Ting Li
Original Paper


This project was focused on the study of the effect of the different acupoints on visceral hypersensitivity and the correlation with the brain–gut axis. By using a mouse model of zymosan-induced colorectal hypersensitivity, and observing the response of hypersensitivity model to colorectal distension stimulation in acupuncture at different acupoints, we selected the specific acupoints. With immunohistochemical staining method, we observed c-fos expression, distribution and changes after acupuncture on sensory pathway, including colorectum, spinal dorsal horn and different regions of brain center in the model with colorectal distension stimulation, and evaluated the acupuncture effect on brain–gut axis. The results revealed that the effectiveness of acupuncture for alleviating visceral hypersensitivity was different at individual acupoint, meaning Tianshu (ST25), Zusanli (ST36) and Shangjuxu (ST37) > Quchi (LI11) and Dachangshu (BL25) > Ciliao (BL32). C-fos expression was concentrated in anterior cingulate cortex, hypothalamus, spinal dorsal horn and colorectum in model of zymosan-induced colorectal hypersensitivity and it was down-regulated after acupuncture. The results demonstrates that the acupoint specificity presents in acupuncture for relieving visceral hypersensitivity and the effects are more predominated at the acupoints on stomach meridian innervated by the same or adjacent spinal ganglion segments. The model of zymosan-induced colorectal hypersensitivity can be the animal model simulating brain–gut interaction.


Colorectal hypersensitivity Colorectal distension Electro-acupuncture Irritable bowel syndrome 



Colorectal distension




Irritable bowel syndrome





This scientific work was supported by grant from National Natural Science Foundation of China (81072856 and 81373724) to Shao-Jun Wang.

Conflict of interest

The authors declared that they have no competing interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shao-Jun Wang
    • 1
    Email author
  • Hao-Yan Yang
    • 2
  • Fang Wang
    • 1
  • Si-Ting Li
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Acupuncture and Moxibustion China Academy of Chinese Medical SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.Institute of Laboratory Animal SciencesChinese Academy of Medical Sciences (CAMS) and Peking Union Medical College (PUMC)BeijingChina

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