Objective: Acupuncture can improve the symptoms of alcohol-induced bodily injury and has been accepted by the World Health Organization. In this study, in vivo fluorescence imaging (IVFI) was applied to display and evaluate the effect of electroacupuncture on liver function in mice with chronic alcoholic liver injury.
Methods: IVFI of the Cy5.5-galactosylated polylysine (Cy5.5-GP) probe targeting the liver asialoglycoprotein receptor (ASGPR) and liver indocyanine green (ICG) clearance was performed to visually evaluate the effect of electroacupuncture at Zusanli (ST 36) and Ganshu (BL 18) on liver reserve function and hepatic metabolism in mice with chronic alcoholic liver injury. In addition, changes in ASGPR expression, serum indexes of liver function, and hepatic morphology were observed.
Results: After electroacupuncture at Zusanli (ST 36) and Ganshu (BL 18), the ASGPR-targeted fluorescence signals (FS) in the liver increased significantly in chronic alcoholic liver injury mice (p < 0.05) and exhibited relationships with liver ASGPR expression, liver ICG clearance, liver histology, and serum marker levels of liver function in cALI mice undergoing electroacupuncture intervention.
Conclusions: As displayed by IVFI, electroacupuncture at Zusanli (ST 36) and Ganshu (BL 18) appears to improve liver reserve function and inhibit the development of liver injury in mice with chronic alcoholic liver injury. Electroacupuncture may have potential as a treatment strategy to protect against alcoholic liver injury.