Electroacupuncture improves recovery after hemorrhagic brain injury by inducing the expression of angiopoietin-1 and -2 in rats
1 Institute of Neurology, China Three Gorges University, Yichang, Hubei, China
2 Department of t Neurology, The First College of Clinical Medical Science, China Three Gorges University, Yichang, Hubei, China
3 Department of the Intensive Care Unit, The First College of Clinical Medical Science, China Three Gorges University, Yichang, Hubei, China
4 Institute of Integrative Medicine, Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan, People’s Republic of China
BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2014, 14:127 doi:10.1186/1472-6882-14-127Published: 5 April 2014
Angiopoietin (Ang) is one of the major effectors of angiogenesis, playing a critical role in neurovascular remodeling after stroke. Acupuncture has been widely used for treating stroke in China for a long time. Recently, we have demonstrated that electroacupuncture (EA) can accelerate intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH)-induced angiogenesis in rats. In the present study, we investigated the effect of EA on the expression of Ang-1 and Ang-2 in the brain after ICH.
ICH was induced by stereotactic injection of collagenase type VII into the right globus pallidus. Adult male Sprague–Dawley rats were randomized into the following four groups: sham-operation (SHAM), stroke-no electroacupuncture (SNE), stroke-EA at the Zusanli acupoint (SEZ), and stroke-EA at a nonacupoint (SEN). EA was applied to the bilateral Zusanli (ST36) acupoint in the SEZ group and a nonacupoint in the SEN group. The expression of Ang-1 and Ang-2 was evaluated by immunohistochemistry and quantitative real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR).
Some Ang-1 and Ang-2 immunoreactive microvessels with a dilated outline were detected in the perihematomal tissues after ICH, and the vessels extended into the clot from the surrounding area since day 7. The expression of Ang-1 increased notably as long as 2 weeks after ICH, while Ang-2 immunoreactivity declined at about 7 days following a striking upregulation at 3 days. EA at the Zusanli (ST36) acupoint upregulated the expression of Ang-1 and Ang-2 at both the protein and mRNA levels. However, EA at a nonacupoint had little effect on the expression of Ang-1 and Ang-2.
Our data suggest that EA at the Zusanli (ST36) acupoint exerts neuroprotective effects on hemorrhagic stroke by upregulation of Ang-1 and Ang-2.