Electroacupuncture prevents ovariectomy-induced osteoporosis in rats: a randomised controlled trial.Acupunct Med. 2012 Mar; 30(1):37-43.AM
Electroacupuncture (EA) treatment has been shown to increase bone mineral density (BMD) in ovariectomised (OVX) rats; however, the underlying mechanisms remain unclear.
To systematically evaluate the effects of EA on OVX rats and the Wnt/β-catenin signalling pathway.
Three-month-old female Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into three different groups (n=10 each): sham operated control (sham operated), ovariectomy (OVX) and ovariectomy with EA treatment (OVX+EA). Rats in the OVX+EA group received 12-week EA treatments.
Serum bone-specific alkaline phosphatase level (p<0.01), BMD of the proximal femoral metaphysis and the fifth lumbar (L5) vertebral body (both, p<0.05) and maximum load and energy to failure of L5 vertebral body (both p<0.01) were significantly higher in the OVX+EA group than in the OVX group. Trabecular area, trabecular width and trabecular number were significantly higher in the OVX+EA group by 66.9%, 29.2% and 30.3%, respectively, than in the OVX group (all, p<0.01). Trabecular separation was 31.9% lower in the OVX+EA group than in the OVX group (p<0.01). Quantitative real-time reverse transcription polymerised chain reaction indicated that the expressions of mRNAs for low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 5 and β-catenin were significantly increased in the OVX+EA group, as compared with the OVX group (p<0.01 and p<0.05, respectively).
This study demonstrates that EA can prevent OVX-induced bone loss and deterioration of bone architecture and strength by stimulating the Wnt/β-catenin signalling pathway. These findings suggest that EA may bet a promising adjunct method for inhibiting OVX-induced osteoporosis in clinical settings.