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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 436315, 8 pages
Research Article

Proteomic Analysis of the Effect of Acupuncture on the Suppression of Kainic Acid-Induced Neuronal Destruction in Mouse Hippocampus

1Division of Meridian and Structural Medicine, School of Korean Medicine, Pusan National University, Yangsan 626-870, Republic of Korea
2Acupuncture & Meridian Science Research Center, Kyung Hee University, Seoul 130-701, Republic of Korea
3Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL 60611, USA

Received 28 February 2013; Revised 7 June 2013; Accepted 26 June 2013

Academic Editor: Xinyan Gao

Copyright © 2013 Chang-Hwan Bae et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Kainic acid (KA) is a neurotoxin that induces epileptic seizures and excitotoxicity in the hippocampus. Acupuncture is frequently used as an alternative therapy for epilepsy, and it has been known to protect hippocampal neurons against KA toxicity. Using proteomic analysis, we investigated protein expression changes in the hippocampus following acupuncture stimulation at HT8. Eight-week-old male C57BL/6 mice (20–25 g) received acupuncture treatment at HT8 acupoint bilaterally once a day for 3 days and were then administered KA (30 mg/kg) intraperitoneally. Twenty-four hours after KA injection, neuronal survival and astrocyte activation in the hippocampus were measured, and protein expression in the hippocampus was identified by 2-dimensional electrophoresis. Acupuncture stimulation at HT8 suppressed KA-induced neuronal death and astrocyte activation in the hippocampus. We identified the changes in the expression of 11 proteins by KA or acupuncture stimulation at HT8 and found that acupuncture stimulation at HT8 normalized the expression of dihydropyrimidinase-related protein 2 and upregulated the expression of transcriptional activator protein pur-alpha, serine/threonine-protein phosphatase 5, and T-complex protein 1 subunit alpha, which are related to the survival of neurons. These results suggest that acupuncture stimulation at HT8 changes protein expression profiles in the hippocampus in favor of neuronal survival in KA-treated mice.