Acupuncture has been used for the enhancement of functional recovery from various disorders including stroke. In the present study, the effects of acupuncture on the c-Fos expression and apoptosis in the hippocampal CA1 region of gerbils following transient global ischemia were investigated via immunohistochemistry for c-Fos and caspase-3 and terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) assay. Enhanced Fos, TUNEL, and caspase-3 positivities were detected in the hippocampal CA1 region in the ischemic gerbils. Acupunctural treatment suppressed the ischemia-induced increment in the number of Fos-, TUNEL-, and caspase-3-positive cells: the most potent suppressive effect was observed at the Zusanli acupoint. These results suggest that acupunctural treatment alleviates ischemia-induced apoptosis and may aid in the recovery following ischemic cerebral injury.
- Ischemic gerbils
- Terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick end labeling staining
- Zusanli acupoint
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