Previous animal and clinical studies have shown that acupuncture is an effective alternative treatment in the management of hypertension, but the mechanism is unclear. This study investigated the proteomic response in the nervous system to treatment at the Taichong (LR3) acupoint in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRs). Unanesthetized rats were subject to 5-min daily acupuncture treatment for 7 days. Blood pressure was monitored over 7 days. After euthanasia on the 7th day, rat medullas were dissected, homogenized, and subject to 2D gel electrophoresis and MALDI-TOF analysis. The results indicate that blood pressure stabilized after the 5th day of acupuncture, and compared with non-acupoint treatment, Taichong-acupunctured rat's systolic pressure was reduced significantly (P<0.01), though not enough to bring blood pressure down to normal levels. The different treatment groups also showed differential protein expression: the 2D images revealed 571±15 proteins in normal SD rats' medulla, 576±31 proteins in SHR's medulla, 597±44 proteins in medulla of SHR after acupuncturing Taichong, and 616±18 proteins in medulla of SHR after acupuncturing non-acupoint. In the medulla of Taichong group, compared with non-acupoint group, seven proteins were down-regulated: heat shock protein-90, synapsin-1, pyruvate kinase isozyme, NAD-dependent deacetylase sirtuin-2, protein kinase C inhibitor protein 1, ubiquitin hydrolase isozyme L1, and myelin basic protein. Six proteins were up-regulated: glutamate dehydrogenase 1, aldehyde dehydrogenase 2, glutathione S-transferase M5, Rho GDP dissociation inhibitor 1, DJ-1 protein and superoxide dismutase. The altered expression of several proteins by acupuncture has been confirmed by ELISA, Western blot and qRT-PCR assays. The results indicate an increase in antioxidant enzymes in the medulla of the SHRs subject to acupuncture, which may provide partial explanation for the antihypertensive effect of acupuncture. Further studies are warranted to investigate the role of oxidative stress modulation by acupuncture in the treatment of hypertension.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)