Electro-acupuncture stimulation acts on the basal ganglia output pathway to ameliorate motor impairment in Parkinsonian model rats

Jun Jia, Bo Li, Zuo-Li Sun, Fen Yu, Xuan Wang, Xiao-Min Wang
Behavioral Neuroscience 2010, 124 (2): 305-10
The role of electro-acupuncture (EA) stimulation on motor symptoms in Parkinson's disease (PD) has not been well studied. In a rat hemiparkinsonian model induced by unilateral transection of the medial forebrain bundle (MFB), EA stimulation improved motor impairment in a frequency-dependent manner. Whereas EA stimulation at a low frequency (2 Hz) had no effect, EA stimulation at a high frequency (100 Hz) significantly improved motor coordination. However, neither low nor high EA stimulation could significantly enhance dopamine levels in the striatum. EA stimulation at 100 Hz normalized the MFB lesion-induced increase in midbrain GABA content, but it had no effect on GABA content in the globus pallidus. These results suggest that high-frequency EA stimulation improves motor impairment in MFB-lesioned rats by increasing GABAergic inhibition in the output structure of the basal ganglia.

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