Abstract Title:

Electroacupuncture ameliorates post-traumatic stress disorder in rats via a mechanism involving the BDNF-TrkB signaling pathway.

Abstract Source:

Cell Mol Biol (Noisy-le-grand). 2020 Jun 5 ;66(3):165-170. Epub 2020 Jun 5. PMID: 32538765

Abstract Author(s):

Mi Li, Yiqiang Xie, Kun Niu, Kai Li

Article Affiliation:

Mi Li


Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition triggered by a terrifying event, causing flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety. It develops in individuals who have experienced a shocking, scary, or dangerous event. Electroacupuncture is reported to be effective for the treatment of PTSD. The present studywas carried out to investigate the protective effect of electroacupuncture in a rat model of PTSD, and the mechanism involved. Specific-pathogen-free male Sprague Dawley rats (n = 30) weighing 180 - 220 g (mean weight = 200 ± 20 g) were randomly assigned to three groups of ten rats each: control group, single-prolonged stress (SPS) group, and treatment group. The treatment group rats received electroacupuncture. Changes in PTSD-like behavior were assessed using locomotor activity, elevated plus-maze (EPM) and fear conditioning tests. The mRNA and protein expressions of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and tropomyosin receptor kinase B (TrkB) were determined using real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) and Western blotting, respectively. Co-immunoprecipitation (Co-IP) was used to measure BDNF and TrkB binding interaction, while chromatin immunoprecipitation(ChIP) was used to evaluate the binding between cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) response element-binding protein (CREB) and its target genes. Electroacupuncture significantly increased locomotor activity and exploratory behavior, but significantly reduced general fear and anxiety in SPS rats(p< 0.05). It also significantly upregulated the mRNA and protein expressions of BDNF and TrkB, and increased the binding of BDNF to its receptor TrkB (p< 0.05). Electroacupuncture significantly increased the binding of CREB to BDNF promoter region (p< 0.05). Electroacupuncture ameliorates PTSD in rats via a mechanism involving the BDNF-TrkB signaling pathway.

Study Type : Animal Study

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