Electroacupuncture Improves Cognition in Rats With Sepsis-Associated Encephalopathy.
J Surg Res. 2020 Jul 23 ;256:258-266. Epub 2020 Jul 23. PMID: 32712439
BACKGROUND: Sepsis-associated encephalopathy (SAE) is a common complication of sepsis. Although sepsis is effectively managed with the administration of antibiotics and source control, which may include surgical intervention, SAE usually leads to prolonged cognitive dysfunction affecting the quality of life of the patients. In this study, we investigated the possible effect of electroacupuncture (EA) on cognition in a model of SAE induced by cecal ligation and puncture (CLP).
MATERIALS AND METHODS: The rats were randomly divided into four groups: the control group, the CLP group, the CLP with EA treatment group (CLP + EA), and the CLP with sham EA treatment group (CLP + sham EA). EA at DU20, LI11, and ST36 or sham EA was performed 30 min daily for 10 consecutive days starting from 2 days before CLP. Then cognitive function was examined by the Morris water maze test. On day 14 after CLP surgery, the synaptic injury, neuron loss, and oxidative stress were studied.
RESULTS: Rats with EA treatment showed improved survival rate, spatial learning, and memory abilities. The dendritic spine density, the synaptic proteins, and the hippocampal neuron number were also increased after EA treatment. Furthermore, EA suppressed oxidative stress through regulating the level of malondialdehyde and superoxide dismutase and enhanced the expression of antioxidant nuclear factor erythroid-2-related factor-2 and hemeoxygenase-1. But sham EA did not have the same effect.
CONCLUSIONS: EA may protect against SAE-induced cognitive dysfunction by inhibiting synaptic injury, neuronal loss, and oxidative stress, and the nuclear factor erythroid-2-related factor-2/hemeoxygenase-1 signaling pathway may be involved in this effect.