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Neural Regen Res. 2014 Jan 1;9(1):76-83. doi: 10.4103/1673-5374.125333.

Hippocampal gene expression in a rat model of depression after electroacupuncture at the Baihui and Yintang acupoints.

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Department of Traditional Chinese Medicine of South Building, Chinese PLA General Hospital, Beijing, China.
Institute of Health Maintenance, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing, China.
School of Acupuncture and Moxibustion, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing, China.


Preliminary basic research and clinical findings have demonstrated that electroacupuncture therapy exhibits positive effects in ameliorating depression. However, most studies of the underlying mechanism are at the single gene level; there are few reports regarding the mechanism at the whole-genome level. Using a rat genomic gene-chip, we profiled hippocampal gene expression changes in rats after electroacupuncture therapy. Electroacupuncture therapy alleviated depression-related manifestations in the model rats. Using gene-chip analysis, we demonstrated that electroacupuncture at Baihui (DU20) and Yintang (EX-HN3) regulates the expression of 21 genes. Real-time PCR showed that the genes Vgf, Igf2, Tmp32, Loc500373, Hif1a, Folr1, Nmb, and Rtn were upregulated or downregulated in depression and that their expression tended to normalize after electroacupuncture therapy. These results indicate that electroacupuncture at Baihui and Yintang modulates depression by regulating the expression of particular genes.


Baihui (DU20); NSFC grant; Yintang (EX-HN3); acupuncture; behavior; chronic stress; depression; electroacupuncture; gene expression profiling; gene-chip; nerve regeneration; neural regeneration; traditional Chinese medicine

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