Hypoglycemic effects and mechanisms of electroacupuncture on insulin resistance

Jieyun Yin, Jian Kuang, Manisha Chandalia, Demidmaa Tuvdendorj, Batbayar Tumurbaatar, Nicola Abate, Jiande D.Z. Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The aim of this study was to investigate effects and mechanisms of electroacupuncture (EA) on blood glucose and insulin sensitivity in mice fed a high-fat diet. Both wild-type (WT) and adipose ectonucleotide pyrophosphate phosphodiesterase (ENPP1) transgenic (TG) mice were fed a high-fat diet for 12 wk; for each mouse, an intraperitoneal glucose tolerance test (IPGTT) and insulin tolerance test (ITT) were performed with or without EA at abdomen or auricular areas. A high-fat diet-induced insulin resistance in both WT and TG mice. In the WT mice, EA at 3 Hz and 15 Hz, but not at 1 Hz or 100 Hz, via CV4+CV12 significantly reduced postprandial glucose levels; EA at 3 Hz was most potent. The glucose level was reduced by 61.7% at 60 min and 74.5% at 120 min with EA at 3 Hz (all P < 0.001 vs. control). Similar hypoglycemic effect was noted in the TG mice. On the contrary, EA at auricular points increased postprandial glucose level (P < 0.03). 4). EA at 3 Hz via CV4+CV12 significantly enhanced the decrease of blood glucose after insulin injection, suggesting improvement of insulin sensitivity. Plasma free fatty acid was significantly suppressed by 42.5% at 15 min and 50.8% at 30 min with EA (P < 0.01) in both WT and TG mice. EA improves glucose tolerance in both WT and TG mice fed a high-fat diet, and the effect is associated with stimulation parameters and acupoints and is probably attributed to the reduction of free fatty acid.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)R332-R339
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Electroacupuncture
  • Free fatty acid
  • Glucose
  • Insulin resistance
  • Vagal activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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