Background/Aims: The present study was performed to demonstrate the effect of electroacupuncture (EA) and acupuncture on renal failure (RF)-induced hypertension. Methods: We stimulated the Zusanli (ST36) and Taixi (KI3) acupoints in a rat model of RF-induced hypertension. Results: EA significantly reduced RF-induced hypertension (p < 0.05). In a histopathological study, increments in RF-induced glomerulosclerosis and tubulointerstitial fibrosis were attenuated by EA treatment (p < 0.05). The increase in albuminuria in the RF group was also reduced by EA treatment (p < 0.05). In blood analysis, the increment in RF-induced serum BUN and creatinine concentrations were decreased by EA (p < 0.05), and the decreases in RF-induced insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) mRNA and protein levels were increased by EA in both the kidney and the serum (p < 0.05). The increases in RF-induced oxidative stress, e.g. inducible nitric oxide synthase, heme oxygenase and thiobarbituric acid-reactive substance expression, were significantly decreased in the RF-EA group (p < 0.01). Conclusion: These findings suggest that the anti-hypertensive mechanism of EA could be related to the effects of oxidative stress on IGF-I in RF-induced hypertension.

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