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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Electroacupuncture pretreatment induces tolerance against focal cerebral ischemia through activation of canonical Notch pathway

Yu Zhao1, Xiyao Chen2, Lei Ma1, Zhiyi Zuo3, Zhenghua Zhu1, Xiaoling Zhu1, Qiang Wang1, Ertao He1, Lize Xiong1, Jianming Pei2, Lixian Xu4, Lihong Hou1* and Shaoyang Chen1*

Author affiliations

1 Department of Anesthesiology, Xijing Hospital, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi'an 710032, China

2 Department of Physiology, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi'an, 710032, China

3 Department of Anesthesiology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, USA

4 Department of Anesthesiology, Stomatology Hospital, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi'an, 710032, China

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Citation and License

BMC Neuroscience 2012, 13:111  doi:10.1186/1471-2202-13-111

Published: 19 September 2012

Abstract

Background

Electroacupuncture (EA) pretreatment can induce the tolerance against focal cerebral ischemia. However, the underlying mechanisms have not been fully understood. Emerging evidences suggest that canonical Notch signaling may be involved in ischemic brain injury. In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that EA pretreatment-induced tolerance against focal cerebral ischemia is mediated by Notch signaling.

Results

EA pretreatment significantly enhanced Notch1, Notch4 and Jag1 gene transcriptions in the striatum, except Notch1 intracellular domain level, which could be increased evidently by ischemia. After ischemia and reperfusion, Hes1 mRNA and Notch1 intracellular domain level in ischemic striatum in EA pretreatment group were increased and reached the peak at 2 h and 24 h, respectively, which were both earlier than the peak achieved in control group. Intraventricular injection with the γ-secretase inhibitor MW167 attenuated the neuroprotective effect of EA pretreatment.

Conclusions

EA pretreatment induces the tolerance against focal cerebral ischemia through activation of canonical Notch pathway.

Keywords:
Electroacupuncture; Pretreatment; Cerebral ischemia; Notch pathway