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Antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant effects of electroacupuncture through sonic hedgehog–signaling pathway in a rat model of poststroke depression

Authors Cai W, Ma W, Wang GT, Li YJ, Shen WD

Received 12 February 2019

Accepted for publication 24 April 2019

Published 23 May 2019 Volume 2019:15 Pages 1403—1411

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/NDT.S205033

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Colin Mak

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Yu-Ping Ning


Wa Cai,1,2 Wen Ma,1 Guan-Tao Wang,1 Yi-Jing Li,1 Wei-Dong Shen1,2

1Institute of Acupuncture and Anesthesia, Shanghai Shuguang Hospital Affiliated to Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China; 2Department of Acupuncture, Shanghai Shuguang Hospital Affiliated to Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

Background: Poststroke depression (PSD) is the most frequent psychological sequela after stroke. Electroacupuncture (EA) treatment is effective for PSD. The study aimed at clarifying the mechanisms of EA’s antidepressant effects in a PSD rat model.
Methods: We used middle cerebral artery occlusion to establish the rat model of PSD. Tests of sucrose preference and locomotor activity were performed to examine depressive-like behaviors. We measured malondialdehyde, GSH, SOD, IL6, IL1β, TNFα, and 5HT with ELISA. The hippocampal Shh-signaling pathway was assessed by Western blot.
Results: EA significantly decreased sucrose preference and locomotor activities of PSD rats, reduced IL6, TNFα, increased GSH, and upregulated 5HT, and also slightly reduced IL1β and malondialdehyde, all of which were measured with ELISA. The Shh-signaling pathway assessed by Western blotting was activated by EA. Those changes were inhibited by the Shh-pathway inhibitor cyclopamine.
Conclusion: EA effectively alleviated depressive-like behaviors in PSD by suppressing inflammation and oxidative stress through activation of the Shh-signaling pathway.

Keywords: electroacupuncture, poststroke depression, sonic hedgehog–signaling pathway, oxidative stress, inflammation, 5HT

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