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Zhen Ci Yan Jiu. 2012 Aug;37(4):302-7.

[Effect of acupuncture at different acupoints on expression of hypothalamic GABA and GABA(A) receptor proteins in insomnia rats].

[Article in Chinese]

Author information

  • 1Department of Acu-moxibustion and Tuina, Henan College of Chinese Medicine, Zhengzhou 450008, China. zylaugust@126.com

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To observe the effect of acupuncture of "Shenmai" (BL 62) and "Zhaohai" (KI 6), "Shenmen" (HT 7), etc. on the expression of hypothalamic gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and GABA(A) receptor (GABA(A)R) proteins in experimental insomnia rats so as to explore its mechanism underlying improving sleeping.

METHODS:

Seventy Wistar rats were randomly divided into normal control, model, "Sanyinjiao" (SP6), "Neiguan" (PC 6), "Zusanli" (ST 36), "Shenmen" (HT7), and "Shenmai" (BL 62)-Zhaohai (KI 6, BL 62-KI 6) groups, with 10 rats in each group. Insomnia model was established by intraperitoneal injection of chlorophenylalanine solution (PCPA, 1 mL/100 g). An acupuncture needle was inserted into each of the bilateral HT 7, PC 6, SP 6, ST 36 and BL 62-KI 6 respectively and manipulated for about 1 min, once daily for 7 days. Hypothamic GABA and GABA(A)R protein expressions were detected by immunohistochemistry. The animals' physical ability was evaluated by using pole-climbing test in a water tank.

RESULTS:

In comparison with the normal control group, the numbers of hypothalamic GABA immunoreaction (IR)- and GABA(A)R IR-positive neurons and the pole-climbing time were reduced significantly in the model group (P < 0.05). While in comparison with the model group, the numbers of hypothalamic GABA IR-positive neurons and those of hypothalamic GABA(A)R IR-positive neurons in the HT 7, PC 6, SP 6, ST 36 and BL 62-KI 6 groups, as well as the pole-climbing duration in the SP 6, ST 36 and BL 62-KI 6 groups were increased considerably (P < 0.05, P < 0.01). The effects of HT 7 and BL 62-KI 6 groups were significantly superior to those of PC 6, ST 36 and SP 6 groups in up-regulating GABA and GABA(A)R expression, and the effect of BL 62-KI 6 group was remarkably better than those of HT 7, PC 6, SP 6 and ST 36 groups in lengthening the pole-climbing time (P < 0.05).

CONCLUSION:

Acupuncture can effectively suppress insomnia induced down-regulation of hypothalamic GABA and GABA(A)R in rats and lengthen pole-climbing time, which may contribute to its effect in relieving insomnia.

PMID:
23140052
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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