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Electroacupuncture Relieves LPS-Induced Depression-Like Behaviour in Rats Through IDO-Mediated Tryptophan-Degrading Pathway

Authors Zhang K, Liu R, Gao Y, Ma W, Shen W

Received 30 July 2020

Accepted for publication 14 September 2020

Published 5 October 2020 Volume 2020:16 Pages 2257—2266

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/NDT.S274778

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Yuping Ning


Kun Zhang,1,2 Ran Liu,1,2 Yuan Gao,2 Wen Ma,2 Weidong Shen1,2

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

Correspondence: Weidong Shen; Wen Ma
Department of Acupuncture, Shuguang Hospital Affiliated to Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, No. 528, Zhang Heng Road, Pu Dong New District, Shanghai 201203, People’s Republic of China
Tel +86 21 2025 6337; +86 21 2025 6336
Fax +86 212 025 6699; +86 21 2025 6336
Email shenweidong1018@163.com; 13524650702@126.com

Background: Neuroinflammation is an important pathological mechanism of depression that leads to an increase in indoleamine-2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) activity and NMDAR activation. This study aimed to observe the effects of electroacupuncture on depression-like behaviour in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-treated rats and the underlying mechanism.
Methods: Wistar rats were intraperitoneally administered LPS (0.5 mg/kg) for 7 consecutive days to establish a depression model. Electroacupuncture treatment was administered 1 hour after daily LPS injection. The open field test (OFT), forced swimming test (FST), and sucrose preference test (SPT) were used to evaluate the depressive-like behaviours. IL-1β, IL-6, and TNF-α levels were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA); Trp, 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT), kynurenine (Kyn) and quinolinic acid (Quin) were detected by ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry; and N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) protein and mRNA were assessed by Western blot and real-time qPCR.
Results: The results showed that electroacupuncture treatment successfully corrected LPS-induced depressive-like behaviour, reduced the inflammatory factor (IL-1β, IL-6 and TNF-α) levels in the blood and hippocampus, prevented IDO over-activation and recovered NR2B expression after challenge by LPS.
Conclusion: Electroacupuncture treatment provided protection against LPS-induced depressive-like behaviour, and the associated mechanisms may be related to inhibiting the inflammatory response, regulating the IDO-mediated tryptophan-degrading pathway, and inhibiting NR2B activation.

Keywords: depression, electroacupuncture, LPS, IDO

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