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Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2015;2015:393569. doi: 10.1155/2015/393569. Epub 2015 Feb 25.

Electroacupuncture Suppressed Neuronal Apoptosis and Improved Cognitive Impairment in the AD Model Rats Possibly via Downregulation of Notch Signaling Pathway.

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Department of Anatomy, School of Basic Medicine, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 201203, China.
Department of Endocrinology, The People's Hospital of Zhangqiu, Shandong 250200, China.
Department of Cardiology, The People's Hospital of Zhangqiu, Shandong 250200, China.
Department of Neurology, Shanghai No. 9 People's Hospital, Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine, Shanghai 200011, China.


Acupuncture is a potential strategy for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and the possible mechanisms worth to be explored. In this study, we proposed and tested the hypothesis that whether Notch signaling pathway is involved in the effect of electroacupuncture (EA) treatment. Rats that received EA treatment on the acupoints of Baihui (Du 20) and Shenshu (BL 23) had shorter latency and remained in the original platform quadrant longer and crossed the former platform contained quadrant more frequently compared to the Aβ injection rats without EA treatment. EA obviously alleviated the cell apoptosis resulted by Aβ infusion in hippocampus CA1 regions through upregulating the expression of Bcl-2 and downregulating the expression of Bax. EA could further obviously promote the expression of synapsin-1 and synaptophysin in hippocampus. Aβ injection significantly increased the expression of Notch1, Jag1, and Hes1 mRNA, while EA treatment downregulated the level of Notch1 and Hes1 mRNA in hippocampus, but not Jag1 mRNA. Our data suggested that EA treatment improved learning and memory function in the AD rat model partially through downregulating Notch signaling pathway.

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