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Journal of Integrative Medicine ; (12): 163-172, 2022.
Article in English | WPRIM | ID: wpr-929221


OBJECTIVE@#Moxibustion, a common therapy in traditional Chinese medicine, has potential benefits for treating decreased ovarian reserve (DOR). The present study investigates the protective effect of moxibustion in a rat model of DOR and explores the possible mechanisms.@*METHODS@#Sixty-four female Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into four groups: control, DOR, moxibustion (MOX), and hormone replacement therapy (HRT). The DOR rat model was established by intragastric administration of 50 mg/kg Tripterygium glycoside suspension (TGS), once daily for 14 days. MOX and HRT treatments were given from the day TGS administration was initiated. The ovarian reserve function was evaluated by monitoring the estrus cycle, morphological changes in ovaries, levels of serum estradiol (E2), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), and anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH), pregnancy rate and embryo numbers. Terminal-deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated nick-end-labeling staining was used to identify ovarian granulosa cell apoptosis, while the protein and mRNA expressions of Bax, B-cell lymphoma-2 (Bcl-2), phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) and protein kinase B (AKT) in ovarian tissues were examined by immunohistochemistry, Western blot and quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction.@*RESULTS@#Compared with the DOR group, MOX improved the disordered estrous cycle, promoted follicular growth, reduced the number of atresia follicles, increased the concentrations of serum E2 and AMH, and decreased serum FSH and LH concentrations. More importantly, the pregnancy rate and embryo numbers in DOR rats were both upregulated in the MOX treatment group, compared to the untreated DOR model. Further, we found that the MOX group had reduced apoptosis of ovarian granulosa cells, increased Bcl-2 expression and reduced expression of Bax. Furthermore, the PI3K/AKT signaling pathway was triggered by the moxibustion treatment.@*CONCLUSION@#Moxibustion improved ovarian function and suppressed apoptosis of ovarian granulosa cells in a rat model of DOR induced by TGS, and the mechanism may involve the PI3K/AKT signaling pathway.

Animals , Female , Pregnancy , Rats , Follicle Stimulating Hormone , Luteinizing Hormone , Moxibustion , Ovarian Reserve , Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinase/pharmacology , Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases/metabolism , Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt/pharmacology , Rats, Sprague-Dawley , Signal Transduction , bcl-2-Associated X Protein/genetics
Journal of Integrative Medicine ; (12): 265-273, 2022.
Article in English | WPRIM | ID: wpr-929220


OBJECTIVE@#It has been reported that local vibration therapy can benefit recovery after peripheral nerve injury, but the optimized parameters and effective mechanism were unclear. In the present study, we investigated the effect of local vibration therapy of different amplitudes on the recovery of nerve function in rats with sciatic nerve injury (SNI).@*METHODS@#Adult male Sprague-Dawley rats were subjected to SNI and then randomly divided into 5 groups: sham group, SNI group, SNI + A-1 mm group, SNI + A-2 mm group, and SNI + A-4 mm group (A refers to the amplitude; n = 10 per group). Starting on the 7th day after model initiation, local vibration therapy was given for 21 consecutive days with a frequency of 10 Hz and an amplitude of 1, 2 or 4 mm for 5 min. The sciatic function index (SFI) was assessed before surgery and on the 7th, 14th, 21st and 28th days after surgery. Tissues were harvested on the 28th day after surgery for morphological, immunofluorescence and Western blot analysis.@*RESULTS@#Compared with the SNI group, on the 28th day after surgery, the SFIs of the treatment groups were increased; the difference in the SNI + A-2 mm group was the most obvious (95% confidence interval [CI]: [5.86, 27.09], P < 0.001), and the cross-sectional areas of myocytes in all of the treatment groups were improved. The G-ratios in the SNI + A-1 mm group and SNI + A-2 mm group were reduced significantly (95% CI: [-0.12, -0.02], P = 0.007; 95% CI: [-0.15, -0.06], P < 0.001). In addition, the expressions of S100 and nerve growth factor proteins in the treatment groups were increased; the phosphorylation expressions of ERK1/2 protein in the SNI + A-2 mm group and SNI + A-4 mm group were upregulated (95% CI: [0.03, 0.96], P = 0.038; 95% CI: [0.01, 0.94], P = 0.047, respectively), and the phosphorylation expression of Akt in the SNI + A-1 mm group was upregulated (95% CI: [0.11, 2.07], P = 0.031).@*CONCLUSION@#Local vibration therapy, especially with medium amplitude, was able to promote the recovery of nerve function in rats with SNI; this result was linked to the proliferation of Schwann cells and the activation of the ERK1/2 and Akt signaling pathways.

Animals , Male , Rats , Peripheral Nerve Injuries/therapy , Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt/pharmacology , Rats, Sprague-Dawley , Sciatic Nerve/metabolism , Sciatic Neuropathy/metabolism , Vibration/therapeutic use
Journal of Integrative Medicine ; (12): 432-441, 2022.
Article in English | WPRIM | ID: wpr-939903


OBJECTIVE@#To investigate the influence of electroacupuncture (EA) on ghrelin and the phosphoinositide 3-kinase/protein kinase B/endothelial nitric oxide synthase (PI3K/Akt/eNOS) signaling pathway in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRs).@*METHODS@#Eight Wistar-Kyoto rats were used as the healthy blood pressure (BP) control (normal group), and 32 SHRs were randomized into model group, EA group, EA plus ghrelin group (EA + G group), and EA plus PF04628935 group (a potent ghrelin receptor blocker; EA + P group) using a random number table. Rats in the normal group and model group did not receive treatment, but were immobilized for 20 min per day, 5 times a week, for 4 continuous weeks. SHRs in the EA group, EA + G group and EA + P group were immobilized and given EA treatment in 20 min sessions, 5 times per week, for 4 weeks. Additionally, 1 h before EA, SHRs in the EA + G group and EA + P group were intraperitoneally injected with ghrelin or PF04628935, respectively, for 4 weeks. The tail-cuff method was used to measure BP. After the 4-week intervention, the rats were sacrificed by cervical dislocation, and pathological morphology of the abdominal aorta was observed using hematoxylin-eosin (HE) staining. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was used to detect the levels of ghrelin, nitric oxide (NO), endothelin-1 (ET-1) and thromboxane A2 (TXA2) in the serum. Isolated thoracic aortic ring experiment was performed to evaluate vasorelaxation. Western blot was used to measure the expression of PI3K, Akt, phosphorylated Akt (p-Akt) and eNOS proteins in the abdominal aorta. Further, quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) was conducted to measure the relative levels of mRNA expression for PI3K, Akt and eNOS in the abdominal aorta.@*RESULTS@#EA significantly reduced the systolic BP (SBP) and diastolic BP (DBP) (P < 0.05). HE staining showed that EA improved the morphology of the vascular endothelium to some extent. Results of ELISA indicated that higher concentrations of ghrelin and NO, and lower concentrations of ET-1 and TXA2 were presented in the EA group (P < 0.05). The isolated thoracic aortic ring experiment demonstrated that the vasodilation capacity of the thoracic aorta increased in the EA group. Results of Western blot and qRT-PCR showed that EA increased the abundance of PI3K, p-Akt/Akt and eNOS proteins, as well as expression levels of PI3K, Akt and eNOS mRNAs (P < 0.05). In the EA + G group, SBP and DBP decreased (P < 0.05), ghrelin concentrations increased (P < 0.05), and the concentrations of ET-1 and TXA2 decreased (P < 0.05), relative to the EA group. In addition, the levels of PI3K and eNOS proteins, the p-Akt/Akt ratio, and the expression of PI3K, Akt and eNOS mRNAs increased significantly in the EA + G group (P < 0.05), while PF04628935 reversed these effects.@*CONCLUSION@#EA effectively reduced BP and protected the vascular endothelium, and these effects may be linked to promoting the release of ghrelin and activation of the PI3K/Akt/eNOS signaling pathway.

Animals , Rats , Electroacupuncture , Ghrelin/pharmacology , Nitric Oxide/metabolism , Nitric Oxide Synthase Type III/pharmacology , Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinase/pharmacology , Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases/metabolism , Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt/pharmacology , Rats, Inbred SHR , Rats, Inbred WKY , Signal Transduction