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The related main theme: A. Stroke and Cerebral vascular disorders

Electro-acupuncture at the bilateral hemisphere improves motor function through glutamate transport in ischemia-reperfusion-injured rats


Ching-Liang  Hsieh,  1 , 
1 Graduate Institute of Acupuncture Science, China Medical Univeristy
Corresponding Author:

Ching-Liang  Hsieh

keywords: Stroke, Glutamate transporter, Electro-acupuncture
Abstract for original article

Inter-hemisphere inhibition occurs where an imbalance after stroke results in strong inhibition from the nonlesioned to the lesioned hemisphere. This inhibition affects motor function recovery after stroke. Electro-acupuncture (EA) applied to the scalp is similar to transcranial direct current stimulation.The purpose of the present study was to investigate the effect of EA on motor function in ischemic stroke.

A rat model of ischemic stroke was established through intraluminal suture occlusion of the right middle cerebral artery (MCA) for 30 min, followed by reperfusion. EA of 15 Hz was applied daily for 20 min to the bilateral Luoque (BL8) acupoint (anode) and Tungtian (BL7) acupoint (cathode), acupoints equivalent to those of human subjects, for 3 days starting 24 h after reperfusion.

The reduction of neurological deficit scores from Day 1 to Day 4 after reperfusion was 3.67 ± 0.65 in the EA group, which was greater than the 0.08 ± 0.29 reduction in the sham group (p < 0.001). The increase in Rotarod test time was 59.07 ± 13.8 s in the EA group, greater than the 5.98 ± 6.99 s increase in the sham group. The cerebral infarction ratio was 0.08 ± 0.05 in the EA group, which was lower than the 0.27 ± 0.04 ratio in the sham group (p < 0.001). The GLT-1/GAPDH ratio was 0.87 ± 0.14 in the sham group, which was lower than the 1.35 ± 0.11 ratio in the normal group and the 1.34 ± 0.14 ratio in the EA group (both p < 0.001). The GLAST/GAPDH ratio was 0.32 ± 0.10 in the sham group, lower than the 0.63 ± 0.10 ratio in the normal group and the 0.57 ± 0.10 ratio in the EA group.

EA at 15 Hz applied simultaneously to bilateral hemispheres can reduce neurological deficit scores, increase Rotarod test time, and increase GLT-1 and GLAST concentration, suggesting that 15 Hz EA improves motor function and that glutamate transporters GLT-1 and GLAST play at least a partial role.