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PLoS One. 2011;6(5):e19790. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0019790. Epub 2011 May 23.

The antioxidative effect of electro-acupuncture in a mouse model of Parkinson's disease.

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Neuroscience Research Institute, Peking University, Beijing, People's Republic of China.


Accumulating evidence indicates that oxidative stress plays a critical role in Parkinson's disease (PD). Our previous work has shown that 100 Hz electro-acupuncture (EA) stimulation at ZUSANLI (ST36) and SANYINJIAO (SP6) protects neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta from 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) toxicity in male C57BL/6 mice, a model of PD. In the present study we administered 100 Hz EA stimulation at the two acupoints to MPTP-lesioned mice for 12 sessions starting from the day prior to the first MPTP injection. We found that in the striatum of MPTP treated mice 100 Hz EA stimulation effectively inhibited the production of hydrogen peroxide and malonaldehyde, and increased glutathione concentration and total superoxide dismutase activity through biochemical methods. However, it decreased glutathione peroxidase activity via biochemical analysis and did not affect the level of 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium in the striatum revealed by high performance liquid chromatography with ultraviolet detection. These data suggest that 100 Hz EA stimulation at ST36 and SP6 has antioxidative effects in the MPTP model of PD. This data, along with our previous work, indicates that 100 Hz EA stimulation at ST36 and SP6 protects the nigrostriatal system by multiple mechanisms including antioxidation and antiapoptosis, and suggests that EA stimulation is a promising therapy for treating PD.

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