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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2016, Article ID 2047412, 8 pages
Research Article

Acupuncture Induces the Proliferation and Differentiation of Endogenous Neural Stem Cells in Rats with Traumatic Brain Injury

1Medical College, Jinan University, 601 Huangpu West Avenue, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510632, China
2Xiangzhou District People’s Hospital, 178 Lanpu Road, Xiangzhou District, Zhuhai, Guangdong 519070, China

Received 14 January 2016; Accepted 4 May 2016

Academic Editor: Alvin J. Beitz

Copyright © 2016 Shuting Jiang 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.


Purpose. To investigate whether acupuncture induced the proliferation and differentiation of endogenous neural stem cells (NSCs) in a rat model of traumatic brain injury (TBI). Methods. 104 Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into normal, model, and acupuncture groups. Each group was subdivided into three-day (3 d), seven-day (7 d), and fourteen-day (14 d) groups. The rat TBI model was established using Feeney’s freefall epidural impact method. The rats in the acupuncture group were treated at acupoints (Baihui, Shuigou, Fengfu, Yamen, and bilateral Hegu). The normal and model groups did not receive acupuncture. The establishment of the rat TBI model and the therapeutic effect of acupuncture were assessed using neurobehavioral scoring and hematoxylin-eosin staining. The proliferation and differentiation of NSCs in TBI rats were analyzed using immunofluorescence microscopy. Results. The levels of nestin-expressing cells and bromodeoxyuridine/glial fibrillary acidic protein- (BrdU/GFAP-) and BrdU/S100 calcium-binding protein B-positive and BrdU/microtubule-associated protein 2- and BrdU/galactocerebrosidase-positive cells were more significantly increased at various time points in the acupuncture group than in the model group (), except for a decreased level of BrdU/GFAP-positive cells at 7 d and 14 d. Conclusion. Acupuncture induced the proliferation and differentiation of NSCs, thereby promoting neural repair in the TBI rats.