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The effect of different frequencies of electroacupuncture on BDNF and NGF expression in the hippocampal CA3 area of the ischemic hemisphere in cerebral ischemic rats

Authors Duan X, Zhang L, Yu J, Wei W, Liu X, Xu F, Guo S

Received 10 August 2018

Accepted for publication 26 September 2018

Published 11 October 2018 Volume 2018:14 Pages 2689—2696

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/NDT.S183436

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Justinn Cochran

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Yuping Ning


Xiaodong Duan,1 Lei Zhang,2 Jihua Yu,1 Wei Wei,3 Xi Liu,1 Fangyuan Xu,1 Shengmin Guo1

1Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Affiliated Hospital of Southwest Medical University, Luzhou, Sichuan 646000, China; 2School of Public Health, Southwest Medical University, Luzhou, Sichuan 646000, China; 3Department of Neurology, Affiliated Hospital of Southwest Medical University, Luzhou, Sichuan 646000, China

Objective: The aim of this study was to observe the effects of different frequencies of electroacupuncture (EA) on expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and nerve growth factor (NGF) in the hippocampal CA3 region of cerebral ischemic rats.
Methods: Middle cerebral artery occlusion was successfully introduced to simulate cerebral infarction in 48 healthy male Sprague–Dawley rats. Totally, 48 rats were randomly divided into three groups: the control group, the EA 5-Hz group, and the EA 50-Hz group, 16 in each group. The rats in the control group were placed in an ordinary cage and fed normally without any treatment. EA treatment was given at a certain frequency 24 hours after surgery in the EA 5-Hz group and EA 50-Hz group. Morris water maze test was used to measure the learning and memory abilities of rats in each group after 14-day treatment with EA. Immunohistochemical staining was used to detect the expression of BDNF- and NGF-positive cells in the ischemic hippocampal CA3 area of the rats.
Results: The EA 5-Hz group and EA 50-Hz group had significantly improved learning and memory ability compared with the control group according to Morris water maze findings (P<0.05). The number of BDNF- and NGF-positive cells in the hippocampal CA3 region of the ischemic hemisphere in the 5-Hz group and 50-Hz EA group was significantly more than that in the control group after EA treatment (P<0.05), and the difference in the 50-Hz group was more obvious than that in the 5-Hz group. The difference was statistically significant (P<0.05).
Conclusion: EA stimulation of “Baihui” and “Dazhui” can promote the expression of BDNF and NGF in the hippocampal CA3 region of cerebral ischemic rats, and the 50-Hz EA stimulation effect is more obvious.

Keywords: cerebral infarction, electroacupuncture, brain-derived neurotrophic factor, nerve growth factor

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