Electroacupuncture alleviates polycystic ovary syndrome-like symptoms. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Electroacupuncture alleviates polycystic ovary syndrome-like symptoms through improving insulin resistance, mitochondrial dysfunction, and endoplasmic reticulum stress via enhancing autophagy in rats.
Mol Med. 2020 Jul 22 ;26(1):73. Epub 2020 Jul 22. PMID: 32698821
BACKGROUND: Electroacupuncture (EA), a treatment derived from traditional Chinese medicine, can effectively improve hyperandrogenism and insulin resistance in patients with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), however, its underlying mechanisms remain obscure. This study aimed to investigate whether EA could mitigate PCOS-like symptoms in rats by regulating autophagy.
METHODS: A rat model of PCOS-like symptoms was established by subcutaneous injection with dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), and then EA treatment at acupoints (ST29 and SP6) was carried out for 5 weeks. To inhibit autophagy in rats, intraperitoneal injection with 0.5 mg/kg 3-MA (an autophagy inhibitor) was performed at 30 min before each EA treatment.
RESULTS: EA intervention alleviated PCOS-like symptoms in rats, which was partly counteracted by the combination with 3-MA. Moreover, DHEA-exposure-induced deficient autophagy in skeletal muscle was improved by EA treatment. EA-mediated improvements in insulin resistance, mitochondrial dysfunction, and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress in PCOS-like rats were counteracted by 3-MA pretreatment. Mechanically, EA attenuated autophagy deficiency-mediated insulin resistance in PCOS-like rats via inactivating mTOR/4E-BP1 signaling pathway.
CONCLUSIONS: Taken together, our findings indicate that EA treatment ameliorates insulin resistance, mitochondrial dysfunction, and ER stress through enhancing autophagy in a PCOS-like rat model. Our study provides novel insight into the mechanisms underlying the treatment of EA in PCOS, which offers more theoretic foundation for its clinical application.