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Neurochem Int. 2012 Dec;61(8):1397-403. doi: 10.1016/j.neuint.2012.10.002. Epub 2012 Oct 13.

Electro-acupuncture upregulates CGRP expression after rat spinal cord transection.

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Division of Neuroscience, Department of Histology and Embryology, Zhongshan School of Medicine, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510080, China.


Calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) plays a variety of important roles within the nervous system. Increasing CGRP expression could improve the survival of injured neurons and prevent neuronal loss. In this study, we first evaluated in vitro the neuroprotective function of CGRP on mechanically injured cerebellar granule neurons (CGNs) of rats. We then verified this result through exogenous administration of CGRP in a spinal cord transected completely in rats. Finally, we investigated the effect of electro-acupuncture (EA) on CGRP expression following the spinal cord transected completely in rats. We found that EA can improve CGRP expression, and exogenous CGRP may promote the survival of injured neurons, both in vivo and in vitro. Our results suggest that CGRP may be a specific neuropeptide expressed in GV-EA treatment of spinal cord injuries (SCI), and that CGRP may play a neuroprotective role in survival of neurons injured mechanically.

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