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eISSN: 1643-3750

Effects of Acupuncture on mRNA Levels of Apoptotic Factors in Perihematomal Brain Tissue During the Acute Phase of Cerebral Hemorrhage

Zuowei Li, Xiaonan Zheng, Ping Li, Eudes Saturnin Régis Itoua, Donatien Moukassa, Françoise Ndinga Andely

(Department of Integrated Traditional Chinese and Western Medicine Encephalopathy, Tianjin Nankai Hospital, Tianjin, China (mainland))

Med Sci Monit 2017; 23:1522-1532

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.897689

Published: 2017-03-30

BACKGROUND: To explore the time-dependent effects of acupuncture on mRNA levels of the apoptotic factors BCL-2 and BAX in a rat cerebral hemorrhage model, slow injection of autologous blood to the caudate nucleus was used to generate the cerebral hemorrhage model.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: A sham surgery control group, groups with acupuncture applied 3, 9, 24, and 48 hours after model induction, and time-matched model-only control groups were used. In situ hybridization was used to detect BCL-2 and BAX mRNA expression, and semi-quantitative RT-PCR was used to measure the expression.
RESULTS: The number of BCL-2 and BAX mRNA-positive cells significantly increased during the acute phase of cerebral hemorrhage. BCL-2 mRNA was significantly upregulated in acupuncture groups compared to other groups, whereas BAX mRNA levels in the acupuncture groups were lower in the other groups, except for the sham surgery group. Additionally, earlier acupuncture intervention was associated with a lower ratio of expression between the two genes. Changes in BCL-2 and BAX mRNA expression were consistent with changes in the number of cells positive for BCL-2 and BAX mRNA; however, the change in the expression ratio was consistent with the change in the number of cells positive for BCL-2 mRNA, but opposite to the change in the number of cells positive for BAX mRNA.
CONCLUSIONS: Acupuncture ameliorated changes in expression of apoptotic factors in the brain induced by acute cerebral hemorrhage and may thus protect the brain, with greater efficacy when the delay before acupuncture was minimized.

Keywords: Acupuncture, bcl-2-Associated X Protein, Cerebral Hemorrhage