Pre-ischemia electro-acupuncture potentiates the expression of Bcl-2 and transforming growth factor-beta 1 in rat brains

Ka Keung Yip, Chun Lap Samuel Lo, Kwok Fai So, Dora M.Y. Poon, Mason C.P. Leung

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1859-1865
Number of pages7
JournalNeural Regeneration Research
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 25 Aug 2012


  • Acupoint
  • Bcl-2
  • Cerebral ischemia
  • Electro-acupuncture
  • Stroke prevention
  • Transforming growth factor-beta 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Neuroscience

Cite this