||OBJECTIVE: Exploring clinically effective methods to reduce ischemia-reperfusion (IR) injury in humans is critical. Several drugs have shown protective effects, but studies using other interventions have been rare. Electroacupuncture (EA) has induced similar protection in several animal studies but no study has investigated how the effects could be translated and reproduced in humans. This study aimed to explore the potential effect and mechanisms of EA in IR-induced endothelial dysfunction in humans. METHODS: This is a prospective, randomized, crossover, sham-controlled trial consisting of two protocols. Protocol 1 was a crossover study to investigate the effect of EA on IR-induced endothelial dysfunction. Twenty healthy volunteers were randomly assigned to EA or sham EA (sham). Flow mediated dilation (FMD) of the brachial artery (BA), nitroglycerin-mediated endothelial independent dilation, blood pressure before and after IR were measured. In protocol 2, seven volunteers were administered COX-2 inhibitor celecoxib (200 mg orally twice daily) for five days. After consumption, volunteers underwent FMD before and after IR identical to protocol 1. RESULTS: In protocol 1, baseline BA diameter, Pre-IR BA diameter and FMD were similar between the two groups (p = NS). After IR, sham group showed significantly blunted FMD (Pre-IR: 11.41 +/- 3.10%, Post-IR: 4.49 +/- 2.04%, p < 0.001). However, EA protected this blunted FMD (Pre-IR: 10.96 +/- 5.30%, Post-IR: 9.47 +/- 5.23%, p = NS, p < 0.05 compared with sham EA after IR). In protocol 2, this protective effect was completely abolished by pre-treatment with celecoxib (Pre-IR: 11.05 +/- 3.27%; Post-IR: 4.20 +/- 1.68%, p = 0.001). CONCLUSION: EA may prevent IR-induced endothelial dysfunction via a COX-2 dependent mechanism.