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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2018, Article ID 3039783, 10 pages
Research Article

Electroacupuncture Reduces Weight in Diet-Induced Obese Rats via Hypothalamic Tsc1 Promoter Demethylation and Inhibition of the Activity of mTORC1 Signaling Pathway

1Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chengdu, China
2Department of Acupuncture, Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Dazu District, Chongqing, China
3Department of Cardiology, The Third People’s Hospital of Chengdu, Chengdu, China
4The Third Affiliated Hospital of Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Diabetes Mellitus Prevention and Control Center of Sichuan Province, Chengdu, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Lin Zhang; nc.ude.mctudc@xhlgnahz and Ying Li; nc.ude.mctudc@gniyil

Received 2 December 2017; Revised 9 March 2018; Accepted 1 April 2018; Published 26 April 2018

Academic Editor: Mariangela Rondanelli

Copyright © 2018 Jincheng Leng 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.


Subject. The study aimed to investigate the mechanism of electroacupuncture reducing weight via tuberous sclerosis complex 1 (Tsc1) promoter methylation, inhibiting the mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) pathway. Materials and Methods. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into chow-fed group (chow group) or high-fat diet group (HF group) for 14 weeks. The obesity rats in HF group were randomly divided into electroacupuncture group (EA group) and diet-induced obesity (DIO) group, which received EA stimulation on bilateral ST25, RN12, SP6, and ST36 for 4 weeks or no further treatment, respectively. Methylation of the Tsc1 gene promoter and expression of agouti-related protein (AgRP), neuropeptide Y (NPY), and proopiomelanocortin (PoMC) were detected at the 18th week. Results. At week 18, weight, body fat, and the body fat rate in DIO group were significantly higher than those of the chow and EA group. Compared with the chow group, the DIO group had increased methylation of the Tsc1 gene promoter and expression of mTORC1, AgRP, and NPY gene and decreased PoMC in the hypothalamus; after EA, methylation of the Tsc1 gene promoter, mRNA, and protein of the mTORC1 and expression of AgRP and NPY gene decreased and PoMC increased significantly. Conclusions. Our study could shed light on the potential pathway where EA exerts effects on the mechanism of EA treatment for obesity through the hypothalamic Tsc1 promoter demethylation and inhibition of the activity of mTORC1 signaling pathway.