Acupuncture analgesia in rabbits

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Abstract

The aim of this study was to verify the validity and reliability of analgesia elicited by acupuncture stimulation in rabbits. Ninety-five experiments were performed using 21 adult animals. The reaction time of the avoidance response elicited by noxious heat stimulation on the snout, and the presence or absence of the start response elicited by pin-prick and clamping of the skin were studied. Bilateral electric acupuncture stimulation in the area of Tsu-san-li and Shang-chu-hsu points in the hind legs was used. The animals were either held in a soft bag, loosely attached by cords, or suspended in a hammock; the eyes were either free of blindfolded. On the basis of operational behavioral measurements, it was found that acupuncture stimulation did not produced analgesia in undisturbed, placid animals. However, during agitated or fighting periods and the immobility reflex-like state, sometimes associated with acupuncture maneuvers, long reaction times were observed. Pin-princking and clamping stimulation of the skin were not reliable methods of noxious stimulation in the rabbit.

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