Electroacupuncture improves IBS by improving intestinal flora

Background: Intestinal mucosal barrier dysfunction plays a crucial role in the pathogenesis of irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea (IBS-D). In order to explore the mechanism of electroacupuncture (EA) treatment on intestinal mucosal barrier, this study observed the effect of electroacupuncture on aquaporins (AQPs), tight junctions (TJs), NF-κB pathway and the gut microbiota in IBS-D rats.

Methods: The IBS-D model was established by acetic acid enema combined with chronic restraint method. The effects of electroacupuncture on the treatment of IBS-D were examined by the abdominal withdrawal reflex score, Bristol’s fecal character score, fecal water content, small intestine propulsion rate and HE staining. AQPs, TJs and inflammation-related molecular mechanisms were explored. The fecal samples were applied for 16S rRNA sequencing to assess the effect of electroacupuncture intervention to the intestinal bacterial abundance.

Results: electroacupuncture reduced intestinal sensitization, restored intestinal motility and improved inflammatory cell infiltration. Furthermore, electroacupuncture improved intestinal inflammation and flora environment significantly, inhibited NF-κB signaling and inflammatory factors (IL-1β and TNF-α). It can also increase the gene and protein expression of AQPs (AQP1, AQP3, and AQP8) and the gene levels of TJs (ZO-1 and Occludin).

Conclusion: electroacupuncture has an inhibitory effect on the NF-κB signaling pathway, and regulates the proteins of AQP1, AQP3, AQP8, and TJs to restore the balance of water metabolism and intestinal permeability in IBS-D, which also restored the function of the intestinal mucosa by regulating the intestinal flora.

Reference: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/38421507/

Acupuncture Times Logo

Hi there!

Sign up to receive the latest research in acupuncture, cupping, moxibustion, Chinese herbal medicine and more, once a week.

About Attilio

Doctor of Chinese medicine, acupuncture expert and author of My Fertility Guide and My Pregnancy Guide.

Check Also

Pub Med

Acupuncture beats western medicine for depression

Introduction: Depression is a pervasive mental health challenge with substantial global ramifications. Contemporary therapeutic strategies predominantly …