Electroacupuncture on Trigeminal Nerve-Innervated Acupoints Ameliorates Poststroke Cognitive Impairment in Rats with Middle Cerebral Artery Occlusion: Involvement of Neuroprotection and Synaptic Plasticity

Yu Zheng, Zongshi Qin, Bun Tsoi, Jiangang Shen, Zhang Jin Zhang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Poststroke cognitive impairment (PSCI) is a severe sequela of stroke. There are no effective therapeutic options for it. In this study, we evaluated whether electroacupuncture (EA) on the trigeminal nerve-innervated acupoints could alleviate PSCI and identified the mechanisms in an animal model. The male Sprague-Dawley rat middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) model was used in our study. EA was conducted on the two scalp acupoints, EX-HN3 (Yintang) and GV20 (Baihui), innervated by the trigeminal nerve, for 14 sessions, daily. Morris water maze and novel object recognition were used to evaluate the animal's cognitive performance. Neuroprotection and synaptic plasticity biomarkers were analyzed in brain tissues. Ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) injury significantly impaired spatial and cognition memory, while EA obviously reversed cognitive deterioration to the control level in the two cognitive paradigms. Moreover, EA reversed the I/R injury-induced decrease of brain-derived neurotrophic factor, tyrosine kinase B, N-methyl-D-aspartic acid receptor 1, α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionic acid receptor, γ-aminobutyric acid type A receptors, Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II, neuronal nuclei, and postsynaptic density protein 95 expression in the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus. These results suggest that EA on the trigeminal nerve-innervated acupoints is an effective therapy for PSCI, in association with mediating neuroprotection and synaptic plasticity in related brain regions in the MCAO rat model.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8818328
JournalNeural Plasticity
Volume2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

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