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October 2021

Arkh Anat Gistol Embriol. 1980 Mar; 78(3): 59-71.

[Certain problems in the autonomic innervation of acupuncture zones of human skin]

Krokhina EM, Chuvil'skaia LM, Novikova EB.

Cholinergic and adrenergic components of vegetative innervation in acupuncture zones of the human skin (in acupuncture "points") were studied by the histochemical method for acetylcholine esterase and by the method of luminescent microscopy. Skin samples were obtained by means of biopsy. In 23 corporal acupuncture zones in the skin, cholinergic nerve conductors and terminals were found to be concentrated and structurally connected with multiple vessels of the skin and its derivatives: sweat glands, folliculi of the fluffy hairs and smooth muscles. In the derm, among its derivatives, numerous free varicose axons with a high positive reaction for acetylcholine esterase were found. In 7 out of 9 examined neutral areas of the human skin, a weak cholinergic innervation was revealed. In biopsies obtained from patients during operations, adrenergic nerves in acupuncture zones were found in small amount on the vessels of skin and in smooth muscles. The problem on participation of acetylcholine from the skin neural elements in the mechanism of therapeutic effect of acupuncture is discussed.


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