Immunohistochemical localization of cyclooxygenase-2 in pregnant rat uterus by Sp-6 acupuncture

Jeong-Sang Kim, Chang Su Na, Woo Jun Hwang, Byung Chul Lee, Ki Hyoung Shin, Sokcheon Pak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


As pregnancy advances, prostaglandins (PG) increase in the uterus, leading to elevated uterine contractility. Therefore, regulating the concentration of PG in the uterus can be a key factor for controlling the duration of labor. Since the synthesis of PGs in the uterus is catalyzed by cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), devising a tool to regulate the expression of COX-2 could provide a method for treating complicated labor. In this study, Sp-6 acupuncture treatment was evaluated for its potential in controlling uterine motility. Immunohistochemical methods showed the COX-2 enzyme was primarily found in the endometrium and myometrium of rat uterus. COX-2 expression in these two locations were intensified by pregnancy, but reduced by acupuncture at the Sp-6 acupoint. Uterine motility monitored during Sp-6 acupuncture was reduced by 28.15% (p < 0.05) and 19.88% (p < 0.05) in pregnant rats and non-pregnant rats, respectively. The significant reduction of uterine motility in pregnant rat suggests a role for Sp-6 acupuncture in regulating the expression of COX-2 during pregnancy. These results suggest that Sp-6 acupuncture could be used as a complementary method for controlling labor in human pregnancy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)481-488
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Chinese Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2003


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