Effect of acupuncture on blood oxygen concentration in brain of rats with post-traumatic stress disorder based on functional near-infrared spectroscopy

  • Yan-feng Zhang (张彦峰)
  • Ya-di Han (韩雅迪)
  • Zhong-ting Zhao (赵中亭)
  • Xing-ke Yan (严兴科)
Basic Study



To observe the effect of acupuncture on blood oxygen concentration in the brain of rats with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) based on functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS), thus to reveal the mechanisms of acupuncture in intervening the brain function of PTSD rats.


Sixty Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats were randomly divided into a blank group, a model group, a grasping group, a paroxetine group and an acupuncture group, with 12 rats in each group. Except the blank group, rats in the other groups all received incarceration plus electric shock for 7 d to prepare the PTSD animal model. One hour before the stress model was established, rats in each group received the designated intervention: rats in the blank group and the model group did not receive any intervention; rats in the grasping group received grasping and fixation; rats in the paroxetine group received paroxetine hydrochloride solution by intragastric administration; and rats in the acupuncture group received acupuncture. Six-day treatment was a course, with 2 courses of treatment conducted for a total of 12 d. After the modeling, rats in each treatment group received intervention for 5 d, and the fNIRS system was used to collect and record the changes in the concentrations of oxygenated hemoglobin (HbO2), deoxygenated hemoglobin (d-Hb) and total hemoglobin (t-Hb) of the involved rat’s brain regions, and also to assess the brain function.


Compared with the blank group, the concentration of HbO2 was significantly increased, the concentration of d-Hb was significantly decreased, and the concentration of t-Hb was significantly increased in the model group and the grasping group after the intervention, and the differences were statistically significant (all P<0.01). Compared with the model group, the concentrations of HbO2, d-Hb and t-Hb in the grasping group did not change significantly (all P>0.05). Compared with the grasping group, the concentration of HbO2 was significantly decreased, the concentration of d-Hb was significantly increased, and the concentration of t-Hb was significantly decreased in the paroxetine group and the acupuncture group, and the differences were statistically significant (all P<0.05). There were no significant differences in the concentrations of HbO2, d-Hb and t-Hb between the paroxetine group and the acupuncture group (all P>0.05).


Acupuncture can regulate the blood oxygen concentration in the brain of PTSD model rats, which may be an important mechanism of acupuncture in intervening the brain function in PTSD rats.


Acupuncture Therapy Point, Keyword>Baihui (GV 20) Point, Keyword>Shenmen (HT 7) Point, Keyword>Neiguan (PC 6) Point, Keyword>Taichong (LR 3) Stress Disorders, Keyword>Post-traumatic Spectroscopy, Near-infrared Rats 




基于功能近红外光谱技术(fNIRS)观察针刺对创伤后应激障碍(PTSD)模型大鼠脑部血氧浓度的影响, 揭示针刺干预PTSD的脑功能机制。


将60只Sprague-Dawley (SD)大鼠随机分为空白组、 模型组、 抓取组、 帕罗西汀组和针刺组, 每组12只。 除空白组外, 其余各组大鼠均以电击幽闭法复制PTSD动物模型, 模型复制共7 d。 于应激造模前1 h, 各组接受相应干预: 空白组和模型组不接受任何干预, 抓取组接受抓取固定, 帕罗西汀组接受 盐酸帕罗西汀溶液灌胃, 针刺组接受针刺治疗, 6 d为1个疗程, 连续干预2个疗程, 共计12 d。 造模结束后, 各治疗 组连续治疗5 d后利用fNIRS系统采集并记录各组大鼠相关脑区组织氧合血红蛋白(HbO2)、 脱氧血红蛋白(d-Hb) 和总血红蛋白(t-Hb)浓度的变化情况, 并进行脑功能评估。


干预结束后, 与空白组比较, 模型组和抓取组大鼠 HbO2浓度显著升高, d-Hb浓度显著降低, t-Hb浓度显著升高, 差异均具有统计学意义(均P<0.01); 与模型组比较, 抓取组大鼠HbO2、 d-Hb和t-Hb浓度均无明显变化(均P>0.05); 与抓取组比较, 帕罗西汀组和针刺组大鼠HbO2浓度显著降低, d-Hb浓度显著升高, t-Hb浓度显著降低, 差异均具有统计学意义(均P<0.05); 帕罗西汀组与针刺组的 HbO2、 d-Hb和t-Hb浓度均无统计学差异(均P>0.05)。


针刺对PTSD模型大鼠脑区血氧浓度有良性的调节作用, 这可能是针刺干预PTSD的重要脑功能机制。


针刺疗法 穴, 百会 穴, 神门 穴, 内关 穴, 太冲 应激障碍, 创伤后 光谱, 近红外 大鼠 





Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.



This work was supported by Regional Science Fund of National Natural Science Foundation of China (国家自然 科学基金地区基金项目, No. 81460744).


  1. [1]
    Mikolajewski AJ, Scheeringa MS, Weems CF. Evaluating Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition posttraumatic stress disorder diagnostic criteria in older children and adolescents. J Child Adolesc Psychopharmacol, 2017, 27(4): 374–382.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. [2]
    Wang L, Zhang YQ, Wang WH, Shi ZB, Shen JH, Li M, Xin Y. Symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder among adult survivors three months after the Sichuan earthquake in China. J Trauma Stress, 2009, 22(5): 444–450.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. [3]
    Isaac CL, Cushway D, Jones GV. Is posttraumatic stress disorder associated with specific deficits in episodic memory? Clin Psychol Rev, 2006, 26(8): 939–955.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. [4]
    Zhang H, Yuan CF, Ran LH, Yuan Q, Yuan XL, Hu YP, Yin Z, Qin XR, Yang J. RCT research of different acupuncture therapies in treating posttraumatic stress disorder after Wenchuan ‘5.12’ earthquake. Zhonghua Zhongyiyao Zazhi, 2010, 25(9): 1505–1510.Google Scholar
  5. [5]
    Zhao YD, Han DY, Guo X. Warming-promotion acupuncture for post-earthquake depression: a randomized controlled study. Zhongguo Zhen Jiu, 2014, 34(8): 755–758.Google Scholar
  6. [6]
    Cao B, Zhang XG. Research progress of Chinese medicine in treating posttraumatic stress disorder. Shizhen Guoyi Guoyao, 2014, 25(11): 2753–2754.Google Scholar
  7. [7]
    Han YD, Zhang YH, Yan XK. Research progress in mechanism of acupuncture intervention in post-traumatic stress disorder. Zhongguo Zhongyiyao Xinxi Zazhi, 2016, 23(1): 130–134.Google Scholar
  8. [8]
    Wang H. The Study of Animal Model of PTSD and Its Pathology Mechanism. Chongqing: Doctor Thesis of Disan Junyi Daxue, 2003: 27–33.Google Scholar
  9. [9]
    Guo Y, Fang JQ. Experimental Acupuncture Science. Beijing: China Press of Traditional Chinese Medicine, 2012: 109.Google Scholar
  10. [10]
    Li YQ. Sectional Anatomical Atlas of Sprague-Dawley Rat. Wuhan: Huazhong University of Science & Technology Press, 2010: 71–77.Google Scholar
  11. [11]
    Zhao J. Study on the Neural Correlation of Executive Functions Based on Resting-state fNIRS. Beijing: Master Thesis of Beijing Jiaotong University, 2016: 22.Google Scholar
  12. [12]
    Liu BG, Zhong J, Li FF. A new method of brain functional imaging: functional near-infrared spectroscopy technology (fNIRS). Xinli Kexue, 2011, 34(4): 943–949.Google Scholar
  13. [13]
    Wu X. Research of A Cerebral Oxygenation Monitoring Technology Using Near-infrared Spectroscopy. Harbin: Master Thesis of Harbin Institute of Technology, 2010: 113.Google Scholar
  14. [14]
    Zhao ZT, Zhang W, Xing JM, Yan XK. Modern research progress regarding effect mechanism of acupuncture on post-traumatic stress disorder. Zhongguo Zhen Jiu, 2015, 35(10): 1085–1088.Google Scholar
  15. [15]
    Hu WB, Wu ZJ, Wang KM. Progress of researches on involvement of serotonin in the central nervous system in acupuncture analgesia and other effects. Zhen Ci Yan Jiu, 2012, 37(3): 247–251.Google Scholar
  16. [16]
    Han YD, Yuan B, Zhang YF, Wang XF, Lang WY, Yan XK. Role of fNIRS technology in observing the effect of needling Hegu (LI 4) on the functions of prefrontal cortex in healthy volunteers. J Acupunct Tuina Sci, 2017, 15(2): 94–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. [17]
    Chen SW. Study on the Relationship Between Infrared Acupuncture at Hegu of Domestic Cat and Hemorrhagic Changes in the Cortex. Tianjin: Doctor Thesis of Tianjin University, 2006: 14.Google Scholar
  18. [18]
    Zhang D. Computerized thermovision for the study of the principles of acupuncture and meridian phenomena. Hongwai Jishu, 1992, 14(4): 28–32.Google Scholar
  19. [19]
    Jin R, Li XY, Zheng CQ, Wang J, Zhang H. Progress of research on mechanism of acupuncture intervention of post-traumatic stress disorder. Shizhen Guoyi Guoyao, 2015, 26(1): 184–186.Google Scholar
  20. [20]
    Zhang H, Chen WW, Song WZ, Zhu MJ, Feng Y. Brain glucose metabolism involved in acupuncture treatment on posttraumatic stress disorder patients. Zhonghua Zhongyiyao Zazhi, 2010, 25(11): 1882–1884.Google Scholar
  21. [21]
    Zhang ZG, Cao R, Xu FJ, Zhao ZT, Niu JT, Li YF. Function of Sinisan on hippocampal neuron discharge frequency in rats with post-traumatic stress and sleep disorder. Zhongguo Linchuang Yaolixue Zazhi, 2016, 32(9): 850–852.Google Scholar
  22. [22]
    Xu FJ, Zhang ZG, Li YF. Research progress of hippocampal neural coding mechanism for modified Sini powder intervening PTSD-inducing sleep disorder. Xibu Zhongyiyao, 2015, 28(7): 155–157.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Shanghai Research Institute of Acupuncture and Meridian 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yan-feng Zhang (张彦峰)
    • 1
  • Ya-di Han (韩雅迪)
    • 1
  • Zhong-ting Zhao (赵中亭)
    • 1
  • Xing-ke Yan (严兴科)
    • 1
  1. 1.Gansu University of Chinese MedicineLanzhouChina

Personalised recommendations