The expression of the anti-apoptotic molecules Bcl-2 and transforming growth factor-beta 1 is known to confer protective effects on the cerebral ischemia-reperfusion injury. The current study investigated the expression levels of Bcl-2 and transforming growth factor-beta 1 in response to multiple pre-ischemia electro-acupuncture at acupoints Zusanli (ST36) and Fengchi (GB20) stimulation. Rats were divided into five groups: uninjured, control, non-acupoint, GB20 and ST36. Rats in the non-acupoint, GB20 and ST36 groups received 30 minutes (3 times or 18 times) of electro-acupuncture stimulation before experimental cerebral ischemia was induced. Bcl-2 and transforming growth factor-beta 1 were found to be significantly increased in the ST36 groups with either 3 or 18 electro-acupuncture treatments (P < 0.05). The production was higher with 18 electro-acupuncture treatments in the ST36 groups (P < 0.05). In the GB20 groups, significant increase was only observed in transforming growth factor-beta 1 with 18 electro-acupuncture treatments (P < 0.05). No significant elevation of the level of transforming growth factor-beta 1 was observed in the non-acupoint groups. However, the production of Bcl-2 increased with 18 treatments in the non-acupoint groups (P < 0.05). The data suggest that multiple pre-ischemia electro-acupuncture at ST36 was effective in conferring neuroprotective effect on the brain by means of upregulation of Bcl-2 and transforming growth factor-beta 1 and the effect was increase with the number of treatment.
- Cerebral ischemia
- Stroke prevention
- Transforming growth factor-beta 1
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental Neuroscience