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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 1676808, 13 pages
Research Article

Antidepressant Mechanism Research of Acupuncture: Insights from a Genome-Wide Transcriptome Analysis of Frontal Cortex in Rats with Chronic Restraint Stress

1School of Acupuncture, Moxibustion and Tuina, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing 100029, China
2School of Science, Beijing Technology and Business University, Beijing 100048, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Tuya Bao

Received 5 May 2017; Revised 12 July 2017; Accepted 26 July 2017; Published 26 September 2017

Academic Editor: Gang Chen

Copyright © 2017 Yu 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.


Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a chronic disease that adversely affects mood and cognition. In this study, we randomly divided the rats into control group (C), model group (M), fluoxetine group (F), and acupuncture group (A), used open-field test to ascertain whether acupuncture affects chronic restraint stress (CRS) induced depression-like behaviors of rats, and explored the antidepressant mechanism of acupuncture at the molecular level of transcriptome in the frontal cortex of CRS rats by RNA-sequencing (RNA-seq). According to differentially expressed genes (DEG) analysis, we identified 134, 46, and 89 response genes differentially expressed in C versus M, F versus M, and A versus M, respectively. Through Gene Ontology (GO) term enrichment analysis and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathway enrichment analysis, we identified the gene sets involved in extracellular space, inflammatory response, Toll-like receptor signaling pathway, chemokine signaling pathway, and TNF signaling pathway. In this study, RNA-seq technology was used to investigate the frontal cortex genome-wide transcriptomes in depression rats under CRS, which suggested that the antidepressant effect of acupuncture is effective and has a multitarget characteristic, which may be related to amino acid metabolism and inflammatory pathways, especially the Toll-like receptor signaling pathway, TNF signaling pathway, and NF-kappa B signaling pathway.