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Acupunct Med. 2019 Oct;37(5):301-311. doi: 10.1136/acupmed-2016-011243. Epub 2019 Jun 21.

Effect of Mongolian warm acupuncture on the gene expression profile of rats with insomnia.

Author information

1
Inner Mongolia Medical University, Hohhot, China.
2
Clinical Medicine Research Center of Affiliated Hospital, Inner Mongolia Medical University, Hohhot, China.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The mechanism of Mongolian warm acupuncture (MWA) for the treatment of insomnia has not been previously reported.

OBJECTIVE:

To investigate the effect of MWA on gene expression profile in the p-chlorophenylalanine (PCPA)-induced rat model of insomnia.

METHODS:

A rat model of insomnia was established and the animals were divided into five groups: control, PCPA (untreated), PCPA+estazolam, PCPA+MA (manual acupuncture), and PCPA+MWA. The rats were euthanased at 7 days after treatment, and hypothalamic tissue was harvested to extract total RNA for the analysis of gene expression profile. Micro-array and Partek Genomics Suite analysis system were used to analyse differential expression of genes between groups. Furthermore, ingenuity pathways analysis was used to analyse the main regulators.

RESULTS:

After treatment, in rats with improved sleep, micro-array data from the follow-up phase compared with baseline showed that MWA down-regulated 11 genes compared with the control group and 16 genes compared with the PCPA group. Six genes were selected following the micro-array detection to perform quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) verification, and the results showed that the coincidence rate was up to 90%, which verified the reliability of the microarray results. Compared with the PCPA group, transcription levels of Egr 1, Btg2 and BDNF in the PCPA+MWA group were up-regulated (P<0.05).

CONCLUSION:

In combination, the findings of this study suggests that MWA is efficacious at improving sleep in an experimental rat model of insomnia.

KEYWORDS:

Mongolian warm acupuncture; cell biology; insomnia; micro-array; p-chlorophenylalanine

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