Hua Xi Yi Ke Da Xue Xue Bao. 1993 Jun; 24(2): 117-21.
[The effect of acupuncture on plasticity of spinal Clarke's nucleus synaptic terminals]
Ten unilateral spared root cats with sectioned L1-S2 dorsal root ganglia, except L6, were used to explore the effect of acupuncture on plasticity of spinal Clarke's nucleus synaptic terminals. Five of the cats were needled on the operated hind limb for two courses (ten days as a course), and the other five were kept for control. Two pairs of acupoints located in the innervated area of L6 spinal nerve were used. The number of synaptic terminals per photo in neuropil of L3 Clarke's nucleus was compared directly, because there was no significant change in the area of Clarke's nucleus and its neuropil on the operated side of both groups. No significant difference was found in the number of three types of synaptic terminals between the unoperated sides of two groups, suggesting that acupuncture may not influence the contralateral side. In the control group, the number of giant axonal terminals from dorsal root of the operated side decreased to 75% of the unoperated side; however, in the experimental group, it recovered to contralateral or normal level of the operated side and was significantly higher than that of the control group's operated side, denoting that acupuncture may promote the plasticity such as collateral sprouting and synaptic reinnervation of coarse myelinated fibers from intact dorsal root, L6 mainly. The number of other two types of terminals from spinal interneurons showed no significant difference between the operated sides of two groups, indicating that acupuncture may not enhance the plasticity of nondorsal root nerve fibers.