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Neural Regen Res. 2016 Jun;11(6):957-62. doi: 10.4103/1673-5374.184495.

Large-conductance Ca(2+)-activated K(+) channel involvement in suppression of cerebral ischemia/reperfusion injury after electroacupuncture at Shuigou (GV26) acupoint in rats.

Author information

1
Postgraduate School of Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tianjin, China.
2
Institute of Acupuncture and Moxibustion Research, First Teaching Hospital of Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tianjin, China; Key Laboratory of Cerebropathy Acupuncture Therapy of State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tianjin, China; Third-level Laboratory of Acupuncture Dose-Effect Relationship, State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tianjin, China; Tianjin Key Laboratory of Acupuncture & Moxibustion Science, Tianjin, China.
3
Department of Acupuncture and Moxibustion, First Teaching Hospital of Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tianjin, China.
4
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, First Teaching Hospital of Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tianjin, China.

Abstract

Excess activation and expression of large-conductance Ca(2+)-activated K(+) channels (BKCa channels) may be an important mechanism for delayed neuronal death after cerebral ischemia/reperfusion injury. Electroacupuncture can regulate BKCa channels after cerebral ischemia/reperfusion injury, but the precise mechanism remains unclear. In this study, we established a rat model of cerebral ischemia/reperfusion injury. Model rats received electroacupuncture of 1 mA and 2 Hz at Shuigou (GV26) for 10 minutes, once every 12 hours for a total of six times in 72 hours. We found that in cerebral ischemia/reperfusion injury rats, ischemic changes in the cerebral cortex were mitigated after electroacupuncture. Moreover, BKCa channel protein and mRNA expression were reduced in the cerebral cortex and neurological function noticeably improved. These changes did not occur after electroacupuncture at a non-acupoint (5 mm lateral to the left side of Shuigou). Thus, our findings indicate that electroacupuncture at Shuigou improves neurological function in rats following cerebral ischemia/reperfusion injury, and may be associated with down-regulation of BKCa channel protein and mRNA expression. Additionally, our results suggest that the Shuigou acupoint has functional specificity.

KEYWORDS:

Shuigou (GV26) acupoint; cerebral ischemia/reperfusion injury; channel protein; electroacupuncture; large-conductance Ca2+-activated K+ channels; nerve regeneration; neural regeneration; stroke

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