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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 204367, 9 pages
Research Article

MicroRNA Profiling Response to Acupuncture Therapy in Spontaneously Hypertensive Rats

1Department of Human Anatomy, College of Fundamental Medical Sciences, Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510006, China
2Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy, University of South Florida, 12901 Bruce B. Downs Boulevard, MDC 30, Tampa, FL 33612, USA
3Department of Acupuncture and Moxibustion, College of Acupuncture and Moxibustion, Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510006, China
4Guizhou Provincial Key Laboratory for Regenerative Medicine, Stem Cell and Tissue Engineering Research Center & Sino-US Joint Laboratory for Medical Sciences, Guiyang Medical University, Guiyang, Guizhou 550004, China

Received 19 May 2014; Revised 11 July 2014; Accepted 12 July 2014

Academic Editor: William C. Cho

Copyright © 2015 Jia-You Wang 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.


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a group of endogenous noncoding RNAs that play important roles in many biological processes. This study aimed to check if miRNAs were involved in the response to acupuncture in rats. Microarray analysis was performed to compare the miRNA expression profiles of medulla in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRs) treated with or without acupuncture. Our microarray analysis identified 222 differentially expressed miRNAs in the medulla of SHRs treated with acupuncture at taichong acupoint. Among these miRNAs, 23 miRNAs with a significant difference were found in acupuncture-treated SHRs compared to untreated rats. These 23 miRNAs could regulate 2963 target genes which were enriched in at least 14 pathways based on our bioinformatic analysis. miRNA-339, miR-223, and miR-145 were downregulated in the medulla of SHRs compared to normotensive rats. Notably, these miRNAs were upregulated to basal levels in the medulla of SHRs treated with acupuncture at taichong in comparison with SHRs receiving acupuncture at nonacupoint group or SHRs without any treatment. Our findings have revealed significant changes of a panel of selective miRNAs in hypertensive rats treated at taichong acupoint. These data provide insights into how acupuncture elicits beneficial effects on hypertension.