Electroacupuncture improves synaptic plasticity by regulating the 5-HT1A receptor in hippocampus of rats with chronic unpredictable mild stress

Lixing Chen, Zengyu Yao, Shanshan Qu, Jialing Zhang, Jiping Zhang, Zhinan Zhang, Yong Huang*, Zheng Zhong*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objectives: To investigate the antidepressant effects of electroacupuncture (EA) on chronic unpredictable mild stress (CUMS) in rats, as well as the effects of EA on hippocampal neurons, synaptic morphology, and 5-hydroxytryptamine (HT) receptor expression.
Methods: Forty adult male Wistar rats were randomly divided into normal control, CUMS, EA, and paroxetine groups. CUMS modeling was performed for 21 days, followed by 14 days of intervention: rats in the EA group underwent stimulation of GV20 and GV29 acupuncture points for 30 minutes daily; rats in the paroxetine group were administered paroxetine daily. Behavioral tests, transmission electron microscopy, western blotting, and real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction were used to evaluate the effects of the intervention.
Results: EA treatment reversed the behavioral changes observed in rats due to CUMS modeling; it also improved the pathological changes in organelles and synaptic structures of hippocampal neurons, and upregulated the protein and mRNA expression levels of 5-HT1A receptor. There were no significant differences in 5-HT1B receptor protein and mRNA expression levels among the groups.
Conclusions: EA treatment can alleviate depression-like symptoms in CUMS rats. The underlying mechanism may include promoting the expression of 5-HT1A receptor mRNA and protein, thereby improving synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of International Medical Research
Volume48
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2020

User-Defined Keywords

  • 5-HT1A
  • chronic unpredictable mild stress
  • depression
  • Electroacupuncture
  • hippocampus
  • neuronal plasticity
  • paroxetine
  • serotonin
  • synaptic plasticity

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