Abstract Title:

Electroacupuncture Ameliorates Depressive-Like State and Synaptic Deficits Induced by Hyper-Cholinergic Tone During Chronic Stress in Rats.

Abstract Source:

Med Sci Monit. 2021 Dec 20 ;27:e933833. Epub 2021 Dec 20. PMID: 34924558

Abstract Author(s):

Jing Gao, Mingyin Lai, Wen Fu, Mengyu Wang, Thi Thanh Tam Mai, Baile Ning, Wenbin Fu

Article Affiliation:

Jing Gao


BACKGROUND Major depressive disorder (MDD) is the leading cause of disability around the world. It is generally agreed that the central cholinergic system plays an important role in emotional regulation. Acetylcholine (ACh) is now a new target for antidepressants. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of acupuncture on depressive behaviors, cholinergic tones, and synaptic plasticity in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) in chronic unpredictable mild stress (CUMS). MATERIAL AND METHODS We randomly divided 36 male Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats into the Normal group, Stress group, Physostigmine+stress (Phys+stress) group, and Electroacupuncture+physostigmine+stress (EA+Phys+stress) group. Rats underwent CUMS exposure for 42 days. After 28 days of CUMS, rats received physostigmine or EA treatment for 2 weeks. Rats in the Phys+stress and EA+Phys+stress group received an intraperitoneal injection of physostigmine (TOCRIS, UK, 5 mg/kg) daily. Rats in the EA+Phys+stress group also received EA stimulation at GV 20 (Baihui), GV 29 (Yintang), LI 4 (Hegu), and LR 3 (Taichong) daily for 2 weeks. RESULTS We found that EA ameliorated weight loss and the depressive-like behaviors in the sucrose preference test, novelty-suppressed feeding test, and open-field test. There was significantly decreased expression of ACh and increased expression of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) after EA treatment. Consistent with the behavior tests and cholinergic tones, there were increased spine density and expressions of synaptic proteins, including brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), glutamate receptor 1 (GluR1), glutamate receptor 2 (GluR2), postsynaptic density protein 95 (PSD95), and synapsin I in the PFC. CONCLUSIONS The results suggest that EA can reverse the depressive-like behaviors and synaptic deficits induced by hyper-cholinergic tone during chronic stress via the modulation of hyper-cholinergic tone.

Study Type : Animal Study
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