Johnson stated that man has always been interested in the structure of things in the world around him. In this regard, the electron microscopy, a modern technique, is used for research in traditional Chinese medicine. The terms and theories of TCM are quite different from those of Western medicine. The theory of TCM indicates that pi (spleen in TCM) has important roles in human health. According to the basic theory of TCM, one such function of the pi is nourishing the muscles. A significant decrease in the number of mitochondria with normal structure and a significant increase in the number of mitochondria with abnormal structure in skeletal muscle of piqixuzheng (spleen energy deficiency in TCM) rats have been reported. The present work is a quantitative electron microscopic study on mitochondria of smooth muscle in piqixuzheng rats.
Male Wistar rats were used in this study. The piqixuzheng rats were produced by treatment with houpo (Magnolia officinalis), Zhishi(Fructus aurantii immaturus), dahuang (Radix et rhizoma) and fasting day other day for six weeks.