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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2016, Article ID 9438650, 15 pages
Research Article

Electroacupuncture Attenuates Cerebral Ischemia and Reperfusion Injury in Middle Cerebral Artery Occlusion of Rat via Modulation of Apoptosis, Inflammation, Oxidative Stress, and Excitotoxicity

1The Second Clinical College, Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, Nanjing, Jiangsu 210046, China
2College of Basic Medicine, Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, Nanjing, Jiangsu 210046, China
3Department of Clinical Laboratory, Jiangsu Province Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, Nanjing, Jiangsu 210029, China

Received 18 January 2016; Revised 10 March 2016; Accepted 10 March 2016

Academic Editor: Francesca Mancianti

Copyright © 2016 Mei-hong Shen 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.


Electroacupuncture (EA) has several properties such as antioxidant, antiapoptosis, and anti-inflammatory properties. The current study was to investigate the effects of EA on the prevention and treatment of cerebral ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) injury and to elucidate possible molecular mechanisms. Sprague-Dawley rats were subjected to middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) for 2 h followed by reperfusion for 24 h. EA stimulation was applied to both Baihui and Dazhui acupoints for 30 min in each rat per day for 5 successive days before MCAO (pretreatment) or when the reperfusion was initiated (treatment). Neurologic deficit scores, infarction volumes, brain water content, and neuronal apoptosis were evaluated. The expressions of related inflammatory cytokines, apoptotic molecules, antioxidant systems, and excitotoxic receptors in the brain were also investigated. Results showed that both EA pretreatment and treatment significantly reduced infarct volumes, decreased brain water content, and alleviated neuronal injury in MCAO rats. Notably, EA exerts neuroprotection against I/R injury through improving neurological function, attenuating the inflammation cytokines, upregulating antioxidant systems, and reducing the excitotoxicity. This study provides a better understanding of the molecular mechanism underlying the traditional use of EA.