To explore the mechanism of electroacupuncture therapy on Parkinson's disease (PD).
Fifty Wistar rats were randomly divided into a normal group, a sham-operation group, a model group, a Fengfu-Taichong group and a Shuanggu Yitong group. PD model was duplicated by microinjection of 6-Hydroxyl-Dopamine into right corpora striata, and by microinjection of normal saline in sham-operation group. Rats in normal group, sham-operation group and model group were not treated. In Fengfu-Taichong group, the rats were treated by electroacupuncture at "Fengfu" (GV 16) and "Taichong" (LR 3) on the basis of the PD model, and by electroacupuncture at "Fengfu" (GV 16), "Taichong" (LR 3), "Guanyuan" (CV 4) and "Zusanli" (ST 36) in Shuanggu Yitong group, once daily for 2 weeks. GDNF and Ret expression were detected by immunohistochemistry and western blotting, respectively.
The number of GDNF positive cells and the content of Ret receptor increased significantly in the two electroacupuncture groups compared with those in the other groups (all P < 0.01), and the expression of GDNF increased significantly in Shuanggu Yitong group compared with that in Fengfu-Taichong group (P < 0.01).
Electroacupuncture can not only increase the expression of GDNF, but also enhance its effect. "Shuanggu Yitong" method is better than simple acupuncture at "Fengfu" (GV 16) and "Taichong" (LR 3) in increasing expression of GDNF.