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2022, Vol. 26 ›› Issue (5): 749-755

Effect of electroacupuncture on expression of nucleotide binding oligomerization domain-like receptor protein 3/cysteinyl aspartate specific proteinase 1 in rats with cerebral ischemia/reperfusion injury

Dong Miaomiao1, 2, Lai Han2, Li Manling1, Xu Xiuhong2, Luo Meng2, Wang Wenhao1, 2, Zhou Guoping1, 2   

  1. 1School of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou 510515, Guangdong Province, China; 2Integrated Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou 510315, Guangdong Province, China

  • Received:2021-03-29 Revised:2021-04-02 Accepted:2021-05-07 Online:2022-02-18 Published:2021-11-02

  • Contact: Zhou Guoping, MD, Professor, Chief physician, School of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou 510515, Guangdong Province, China; Integrated Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou 510315, Guangdong Province, China

  • About author:Dong Miaomiao, Master, School of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou 510515, Guangdong Province, China; Integrated Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou 510315, Guangdong Province, China

  • Supported by:

    the National Natural Science Foundation of China (General Program), No. 81674048 (to ZGP)



Abstract: BACKGROUND: There is currently no effective treatment for cerebral ischemia/reperfusion injury, and for the exploration of treatments, it is crucial to mitigate cerebral ischemia/reperfusion injury cascade damage. Electroacupuncture can alleviate cerebral ischemia/reperfusion injury.
OBJECTIVE: To explore the neuroprotective effect of electroacupuncture on cerebral ischemia/reperfusion injury in rats based on nucleotide binding oligomerization domain-like receptor protein 3 (NLRP3)/cysteinyl aspartate specific proteinase 1 (Caspase-1) pathway.
METHODS: Forty-eight Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into a sham group, a model group, an electroacupuncture group and an inhibitor group, with 12 rats in each group. Animal models of cerebral ischemia/reperfusion injury were made in the latter three groups using the suture-occluded method. Caspase-1 inhibitor was intervened with Z-YVAD-FMK, and acupoints were selected as “Hegu,” “Chize,” “Sanyinjiao” and “Zusanli.” Zea longa method was used to evaluate the neurological symptoms. 2,3,5-Triphenyltetrazolium chloride staining was used to observe the condition of cerebral infarction. Electron microscope was used to observe the pyroptosis of neurons. Fluorescence quantitative PCR and western blot were used to detect the expression of NLRP3 and Caspase-1. Immunofluorescence staining was used to observe the level of microglia. Enzyme linked immunosorbent assay was used to detect the levels of interleukin-1β, interleukin-18 and tumor necrosis factor-α.

RESULTS AND CONCLUSION: (1) Compared with the model group, the neurological deficit score and infarct volume of brain tissue were decreased in the electroacupuncture group and inhibitor group (all P < 0.05). (2) Compared with the model group, pyroptosis of the cells was reduced in the electroacupuncture group and inhibitor group. (3) Compared with the model group, the number of microglia and the expression of interleukin-1β, interleukin-18 and tumor necrosis factor-α were decreased in the electroacupuncture group and inhibitor group (all P < 0.05). (4) Compared with the model group, the expression levels of NLRP3 and Caspase-1 were decreased in the electroacupuncture group and inhibitor group (all P < 0.05). In conclusion, electroacupuncture can reduce the level of microglia, reduce inflammatory reactions, and down-regulate the expression of NLRP3/Caspase-1, so as to reduce neuronal pyroptosis and exert a neuroprotective effect in rats with cerebral ischemia/reperfusion injury.

Key words:electroacupuncture, cerebral ischemia/reperfusion injury, microglia, pyroptosis, nucleotide binding oligomerization domain-like receptor protein 3, cysteinyl aspartate specific proteinase 1


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