[Effect of Electroacupuncture Intervention on Expression of Cx 43 and Concentration of Glutamate in the Striatum of Rats with Parkinson's Disease]

Ma Jun, Biao Ma, Shu-ju Wang, Fang Liu, Yan-chun Wang, Pei-hao Yu, Zhong-ming Wang
Zhen Ci Yan Jiu, Acupuncture Research 2015, 40 (5): 364-7, 372

OBJECTIVE: To observe the action of electroacupuncture (EA) intervention on the expression of gap junction protein connexin 43 (Cx 43) and content of glutamate (Glu) in the striatum in Parkinson's disease (PD) rats, so as to reveal its mechanism underlying improvement of PD.

METHODS: Forty male SD rats were randomly divided into normal control, sham operation, model and EA groups (n = 10 in each group). The PD model was duplicated by microinjection of 6-hydroxyldopamine (6-OHDA, 15 µg/rat) into the right striatum of rats (AP: 1.0, 1.0; R: 3.0, 4.5; H: 4.5, 6.0), and for control, the same dose of normal saline was injected into the right striatum for rats in the sham operation group. EA (2 Hz, 1 mA) was applied to "Fengfu" (GV 16) "Taichong" (LR 3) for 30 min, once a day for 2 weeks. The PD rats' rotational behavior changes (the numbers of rotations in 30 min) were detected following subcutaneous injection of apomorphine (0.5 mg/kg). The Glu concentration and the expression of Cx 43 in the striatum were detected by using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and Western blot, respectively.

RESULTS: No significant differences were found between the model group and EA group in the number of rotations before the treatment, between the control and sham operation groups in the levels of Glu content and Cx 43 protein expression in the striatum (P > 0.05). Compared with the control group, the Glu content and Cx 43 protein expression level were significantly increased in the model group (P < 0.01), while in comparison with the model group, the number of rotations was significantly reduced in the EA group (P < 0.05). Following EA intervention, both Glu content and Cx 43 expression were considerably down-regulated in the EA group compared with the model group (P < 0.05, P < 0.01).

CONCLUSION: EA can improve PD rats' rotation behavior, which may be associated with its effects in down-regulating the level of Glu and Cx 43 protein expression in the striatum.

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