Electroacupuncture ameliorates cognitive impairment through inhibition of NF-κB-mediated neuronal cell apoptosis in cerebral ischemia-reperfusion injured rats.

Cognitive impairment is a serious mental deficit following stroke that severely affects the quality of life of stroke survivors. Nuclear factor‑κB (NF-κB)-mediated neuronal cell apoptosis is involved in the development of post-stroke cognitive impairment; therefore, it has become a promising target for the treatment of impaired cognition. Acupuncture at the Baihui (DU20) and Shenting (DU24) acupoints is commonly used in China to clinically treat post‑stroke cognitive impairment; however, the precise mechanism of its action is largely unknown. In the present study, we evaluated the therapeutic efficacy of electroacupuncture against post-stroke cognitive impairment and investigated the underlying molecular mechanisms using a rat model of focal cerebral ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) injury. Electroacupuncture at Baihui and Shenting was identified to significantly ameliorate neurological deficits and reduce cerebral infarct volume. Additionally, electroacupuncture improved learning and memory ability in cerebral I/R injured rats, demonstrating its therapeutic efficacy against post-stroke cognitive impairment. Furthermore, electroacupuncture significantly suppressed the I/R-induced activation of NF-κB signaling in ischemic cerebral tissues. The inhibitory effect of electroacupuncture on NF-κB activation led to the inhibition of cerebral cell apoptosis. Finally, electroacupuncture markedly downregulated the expression of pro-apoptotic Bax and Fas, two critical downstream target genes of the NF-κB pathway. Collectively, our findings suggest that inhibition of NF-κB‑mediated neuronal cell apoptosis may be one mechanism via which electroacupuncture at Baihui and Shenting exerts a therapeutic effect on post-stroke cognitive impairment.
AuthorsXiaodong Feng, Shanli Yang, Jiao Liu, Jia Huang, Jun Peng, Jiumao Lin, Jing Tao, Lidian Chen
JournalMolecular medicine reports (Mol Med Rep) Vol. 7 Issue 5 Pg. 1516-22 (May 2013) ISSN: 1791-3004 [Electronic] Greece
PMID23525450 (Publication Type: Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't)
Chemical References
  • Antigens, CD95
  • NF-kappa B
  • Tnfrsf6 protein, rat
  • bcl-2-Associated X Protein
  • Acupuncture Points
  • Animals
  • Antigens, CD95 (genetics, metabolism)
  • Apoptosis
  • Brain Ischemia (complications, metabolism, pathology, physiopathology)
  • Cell Nucleus (metabolism)
  • Cerebral Infarction
  • Cognition Disorders (complications, metabolism, pathology, therapy)
  • Down-Regulation
  • Electroacupuncture
  • Male
  • NF-kappa B (metabolism)
  • Neurons (metabolism, pathology)
  • Protein Transport
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Reperfusion Injury (complications, metabolism, pathology, physiopathology)
  • Signal Transduction
  • bcl-2-Associated X Protein (genetics, metabolism)

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