[Protective effect of electroacupuncture intervention on neurovascular unit in rats with focal cerebral ischemia-reperfusion injury].Zhen Ci Yan Jiu. 2013 Jun; 38(3):173-80.ZC
To observe the effect of electroacupuncture (EA) intervention on behavior changes, expression of cerebral vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), nerve growth associated protein-43 (GAP-43), synaptophysin (SYN), myelin basic protein (MBP), neurite outgrowth inhibitor-A (Nogo-A) in cerebral focal ischemia-reperfusion injury (CI/RI) rats, so as to study its mechanism underlying improvement of ischemic cerebral vascular disease.
Sixty male SD rats were randomly divided into sham-operation group, model group and electroacupuncture (EA) group. CI/RI model was established by occlusion of the middle cerebral artery (MCAO) and reperfusion. EA was applied to bilateral "Neiguan" (PC 6), "Sanyinjiao" (SP 6), "Shuigou" (GV 26) and "Baihui" (GV 20) for 30 min, once a day for 14 days. The neurologic deficits were evaluated by Longa 5-grade standard (the higher the score, the severer the neurologic deficit). The immunoactivity of cerebral VEGF, GAP-43, SYN, MBP (important in the process of myelination of nerves in the nervous system) and Nogo-A (inhibiting axonal regeneration) in the focal ischemic cerebral tissue was detected by immunohistochemistry.
The Longa's score of the model group was significantly increased after MCAO in comparison with the sham-operation group (P < 0.01). In comparison with the model group, Longa's score of the EA group was evidently lower on day 14 after CI/RI (P < 0.05), suggesting an improvement of the neurological deficits after EA intervention. In comparison with the sham-operation group, the immunoactivity of cerebral VEGF, GAP-43 and Nogo-A was significantly upregulated on day 7 and 14 in the model group (P < 0.01), while that of cerebral SYN was remarkably down-regulated in the model group on day 7 and 14 after CI/RI (P < 0.05). Compared with the model group, cerebral VEGF, GAP-43, SYN and MBP expression levels were considerably upregulated on day 7 and 14 following CI/RI in the EA group (P < 0.01, P < 0.05), while that of cerebral Nogo-A was significantly decreased at the two time-points in the EA group (P < 0.01).
EA intervention can effectively improve neurological function in cerebral infarction rats, which is closely related to its effects in upregulating cerebral VEGF, GAP-43, SYN and MBP expression, and down-regulating Nogo-A protein, suggesting a protective effect on neurovascular unit.