Neurochem Res. 1984 May; 9(5): 669-78.
Effect of electroacupuncture on synaptosomal (Na+ + K+)-ATPase.
The action of electroacupuncture (EA) may be similar to analgesia by electrode stimulation or transcutaneous nerve stimulation. Since EA may directly stimulate nerve activity or indirectly enhance the release of opiate peptides and other neurotransmitter substances, we have used (Na+ + K+)-ATPase as a model to study the mechanism of action of EA. The membrane-bound (Na + K)-ATPase from purified synaptic plasma membranes inhibited slightly by high concentration of endorphin (30 microM), but not by met-enkephalin up to 6 X 10(-4) M. A single EA treatment for 30 min did not alter the (Na+ + K+)-ATPase activity in the cerebral cortex. However, when rats were treated with low (4 Hz) or high (200 Hz) frequency EA 30 min daily for 3 weeks, both (Na+ + K+)-ATPase and acetylcholinesterase were significantly elevated. The enhanced (Na+ + K+)-ATPase activity after high frequency EA was only partially blocked by i.p. injection of naloxone prior to EA during the last week of the EA treatment program. The results indicated that EA treatment may involve some other neurotransmitter pathways besides opiate peptides.