[Acupuncture plus moxibustion intervention improves learning-memory ability by suppressing hippocampal JAK2/STAT3 signaling in Alzheimer's rats].
Zhen Ci Yan Jiu. 2019 Feb 25 ;44(2):79-84. PMID: 30945481
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the effect of acupuncture plus moxibustion on learning-memory ability and expression of hippocampal Janus kinase-2 (JAK2)/signal transducer and activator of transcription-3 (STAT3)/suppressors of cytokine signaling-3 (SOCS3) signaling in Alzheimer's Disease (AD) rats, so as to reveal their mechanisms underlying improvement of AD.
METHODS: A total of 60 SD rats were randomly divided into four groups：normal control, sham-operation, model and acupuncture-moxibustion (Acu-moxi,＝15 in each group) groups. The AD model was established by microinjection of β-amyloid 1-42(Aβ1-42，5 µL)into the bilateral hippocampus. Seven days after modeling, Acu-moxi intervention was given. After insertion of acupuncture needles into"Baihui"(GV20) and bilateral"Shenshu"(BL23) and manipulating them for a while, the needles were then retained for 15 min, when, the mild moxibustion was performed at the same time. The treatment was conducted once daily, 5 times a week for consecutive 4 weeks. After the treatment, Morris water maze test was used to detect the animals' learning-memory ability. Immunohistochemistry and Western blot were respectively used to detect the number of positive cells and protein expression levels of JAK2, STAT3 and SOCS3 in the hippocampus tissue.
RESULTS: Following modeling and compared with the normal control and sham-operation groups, the average escape latency was significantly prolonged (<0.01), and the number of the original platform crossing and the residence time in the platform quadrant were significantly shortened in the model group (<0.01). The numbers of hippocampal JAK2- and STAT3-positive cells and expression levels of hippocampal JAK2 and STAT3 proteins were significantly increased (<0.01), and the number of hippocampal SOCS3-positive cells as well as the expression of SOCS3 protein significantly decreased in the model group relevant to the normal control and sham-operation groups (<0.01). After the intervention, the average escape latency was significantly shortened (<0.01), and the number of the original platform crossing and the residence time in the platform quadrant were significantly increased in the Acu-moxi group (<0.01), and the expression levels of JAK2 and STAT3 were significantly down-regulated and that of SOCS3 was considerably up-regulated in the Acu-moxi group relevant to the model group (<0.01)．.
CONCLUSION: Acu-moxi intervention can improve the learning-memory ability in AD rats, which is associated with its functions in inhibiting hippocampal JAK2/STAT3 signaling and up-regulating SOCS3 (a negative feedback factor) protein level.