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Background: Gastric mucosal lesions (GML) are common in gastric diseases and seriously affect the quality of life. There are inevitable side effects in drug therapy. Acupuncture is an important part of traditional Chinese medicine. Electro-acupuncture (EA) has unique curative effect in treatment of GML. However, there are still few reports on the central mechanism of electro-acupuncture in treatment of GML. In this study, NMR metabonomics was used to explore the central metabolic change mechanism of electro-acupuncture in treatment of GML. Methods: SD rats were randomly divided into Control, GML and EA groups. According to different intervention time, each group was further divided into 3 subgroups. This study mainly established GML model rats by 75% ethanol. Dynamic expressions of metabolites in cerebral cortex and medulla were observed by 1D 1H Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) metabolomics, combined with gastric mucosal histopathological examination to evaluate the time-effect relationship of electro-acupuncture at Zusanli (ST36) and Liangmen (ST21) points for 1 day, 4 days and 7 days treatment of GML. Results: The results showed that the repair effect of electro-acupuncture on gastric mucosal injury was the most obvious in 4 days and stable in 7 days, and 4 days electro-acupuncture can effectively inhibit GML gastric mucosal inflammation and the expression of inflammatory cells. Meanwhile, the NMR spectrum results of medulla and cerebral cortex showed that, 21 potential metabolites were identified to participate in the mechanism of pathogenesis of GML and the regulation of electro-acupuncture, including 15 in medulla and 10 in cerebral cortex. Metabolic pathway analysis showed that the differential metabolites involved 19 metabolic pathways, which could be divided into energy, neurotransmitters, cells and cell membrane and antioxidation according to their functions. The correlation analysis of stomach, medulla and cerebral cortex shows that the stimulation signal of GML may reach the cerebral cortex from the stomach through medulla, and electro-acupuncture can treat GML by regulating the central nervous system (CNS). Conclusions: 4 days electro-acupuncture treatment can significantly improve gastric mucosal injury, and the curative effect tends to be stable in 7 days treatment. Meanwhile, the pathogenesis of GML and the efficacy of electro-acupuncture involve metabolic pathways such as energy, neurotransmitters, cells and antioxidation, and electro-acupuncture can treat GML by regulating CNS.
Huang, M., Peng, Y., He, Q., Lian, L., Wang, Y., Zhang, L., … Yang, Z. (2022). NMR-based metabonomics reveals the dynamic effect of electro-acupuncture on central nervous system in gastric mucosal lesions (GML) rats. Chinese Medicine (United Kingdom), 17(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13020-022-00593-9