Effect of “Spleen-Stomach Harmonizing” Needling on Insulin Resistance and Expression of Insulin Receptor Substrate-1, -2, and Glucose Transporter-4 in Insulin Resistance Type 2 Diabetes Rats

CHEN Hong1 ZHANG Zhi-long1 WANG Xu1 YANG Yuan-qing1

(1.The Affiliated Hospital of Tianjin Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tianjin, China 300120)

【Abstract】Objective To observe the effect of manual acupuncture stimulation of “Quchi” (LI 11), “Hegu” (LI 4), “Zusanli” (ST 36), etc. with “spleen-stomach harmonizing” technique on insulin resistance index (ISI) and the expression of insulin receptor substrate-1 (IRS-1), IRS-2 (two upstream key proteins) and glucose transporter-4 (GluT-4, downstream key protein) of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI 3K)/Akt signaling pathway in insulin resistance type 2 diabetes (IRT 2D) rats, so as to explore its mechanism underling improvement of type 2 diabetes. Methods A total of 35 male Wistar rats were used in the present study. The IRT 2Dmodel was established by feeding the animal with high-fat and high-sugar diet for 8 weeks, and subsequent intraperitoneal injection (i.p.i.) of a low dose of streptozotocin (25 mg/kg). Using the stratified random sampling method, 20 successful IRT 2Drats were equally divided into model and acupuncture groups. Ten normal rats were used as the control group. The bilateral acupoints of LI 11, LI 4, ST 36, “Xuehai” (SP 10), “Fenglong” (ST 40), “Yinlingquan” (SP 9), “Diji” (SP 8), “Sanyinjiao” (SP 6) and “Taichong” (LR 3) were punctured with filiform needles, followed by manipulating the needles with “spleen-stomach harmonizing” technique. The treatment was given once daily for 4 weeks except the weekends. Fasting blood glucose and serum insulin levels were measured using ELISA. The quadriceps muscle of thigh of each rat was sampled to test the expression levels of IRS-1, IRS-2, and GluT-4 proteins and genes with Western blot and quantitative Real-time PCR, respectively. Results Following four-week acupuncture intervention, the modeling-induced remarkable increase of ISI, and considerable down-regulation of expression levels of IRS-1, IRS-2 and GluT-4 proteins and genes in the quadriceps femoris were significantly reversed relevant to the model group (P < 0.01), suggesting a possible activation of PI 3 K/Akt signaling after acupuncture administration. Conclusion Spleen-stomach regulation needling can improve insulin resistance and up-regulate the expression of IRS-1, IRS-2 and GluT-4 in the quadriceps femoris in type 2 diabetes rats.

【Keywords】 Type 2 diabetes; Hand acupuncture; Insulin resistance; Insulin receptor substrate; Glucose transporter type 4; Quadriceps femoris;


【Funds】 National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 81373784) Special Research Projects of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Integrated Chinese and Western medicine by Tianjin Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine (No. 13026)

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(Translated by WU XX)


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This Article


CN: 11-2274/R

Vol 42, No. 03, Pages 197-201

June 2017


Article Outline


  • 1 Materials and methods
  • 2 Results
  • 3 Discussions
  • References