Objective: To observe the effects of electro-acupuncture (EA) on GRP78 and Caspase-12 gene expression in rats with ischemia- reperfusion injury (IRI) by stimulation on Nei Guan (PC6) and Bai Hui (GV20) points, so that to understand whether or not the protective effects of acupuncture is related to endocytoplasmic reticulum (ER) stressapoptosis passage.
Methods: 50 rats were randomly assigned to five groups (10 in each group): normal control(A), pseudo-operation(B), operation(C), Edaravone(D) and EA(E). The ischemia/reperfusion model of middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) was established by suture embolic method. TUNEL staining method was employed to measure the apoptosis index of nerve cells in rats. Real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) was employed to measure the mRNA expression of GRP78 and Caspase-12.
Results: Compared with normal group and pseudo-operation group, the apoptosis indexes and mRNA expression of GRP78 and Caspase-12 in operation group, Edaravone group and EA group were increased, with statistical significance（P＜0.05 or P＜0.01）; compared with operation group, the apoptosis indexes and Caspase-12 mRNA expression in Edaravone group and EA group were decreased（P＜0.05 or P＜0.01）, but GRP78 mRNA expression were increased（P＜0.01）; there were no significant difference between Edaravone group and EA group on the above indexes（P＞0.05).
Conclusion: Acupuncture on Nei Guan and Bai Hui points could effectively suppress the nerve cell apoptosis in cerebral ischemia. The underlying mechanism might be related to upregulation of the ERS-protective GRP78 expression and downregulation of apoptosis-promotion Caspase-12 expression.