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Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013;2013:953162. doi: 10.1155/2013/953162. Epub 2013 Nov 20.

Effects of pretreatment with a combination of melatonin and electroacupuncture in a rat model of transient focal cerebral ischemia.

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Department of Medicine, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong.


Both melatonin and electroacupuncture (EA) have been suggested to be effective treatments against stroke. However, it is unknown whether a combination of these two therapies could be beneficial against transient focal cerebral ischemia. The present study investigated the effects of pretreatment of a combination of melatonin and EA in a rat model of transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO). After pretreatment of melatonin plus EA (MEA), transient MCAO was induced for 90 minutes in male Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats. The neurological deficit score, brain infarct volume, cerebral edema ratio, neuronal inflammation, and apoptosis were evaluated 24 hours after transient MCAO. The expression of related inflammatory and apoptotic mediators in the brain was also investigated. The results showed that MEA improved neurological outcome, reduced brain infarct volume, and inhibited neuronal inflammation as well as apoptosis 24 hours after transient MCAO. The beneficial effects may derive from downregulation of proinflammatory and proapoptotic mediators and upregulation of antiapoptotic mediators. Thus, these results suggest a preventive effect of pretreatment of MEA on transient focal cerebral ischemia.

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