Acupuncture attenuates neuronal cell death in middle cerebral artery occlusion model of focal ischemia.
Neurol Res. 2010 Feb;32 Suppl 1:84-7. PMID: 20034452
OBJECTIVES: This study was designed to investigate the neuroprotective effect of acupuncture in the middle cerebral artery occlusion-induced ischemia model. METHODS: Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into two experimental groups: middle cerebral artery occlusion group (MCAO, n=8), and middle cerebral artery occlusion plus acupuncture group (MCAO + Acu, n=8). Acupuncture stimulation was given immediately after reperfusion. The effect of its stimulation to both GB34 and GB39 on the size of the brain infarct and the functional status of the brain cells after middle cerebral artery occlusion was examined by nissl staining and neuron-specific nuclear protein immunohistochemistry. RESULTS: The infarction volume was significantly decreased in the MCAO + Acu group (16.4 +/- 4.8%), compared with the MCAO group (39.9 +/- 10.2%). The number of neuron-specific nuclear protein-positive cells in the MCAO group was significantly decreased by 42.3 +/- 12.6% in the striatum and by 45.8 +/- 5.8% in the motor cortex, but the neuron-specific nuclear protein-positive cells in the MCAO + Acu group were rescued by 67.0 +/- 3.8% in the striatum and by 68.1 +/- 4.5% in the motor cortex, compared with the contralateral side (100%). DISCUSSION: This study showed that acupuncture had neuroprotective effects against focal ischemia in the middle cerebral artery occlusion model.