2015 Volume 77 Issue 2 Pages 167-173
In the current study, we investigated whether electroacupuncture (EA) can inhibit pathological reductions in neurogenesis. Zucker diabetic fatty (ZDF) rats at 7 weeks of age were anesthetized with zoletil, and sham-acupuncture or EA at the Zusanli (ST36) and Baihui (GV20) acupoints was administered once a day for 5 weeks. In the ZDF group that received sham-EA (ZDF-Sham group), the blood glucose level was significantly increased together with age as compared to the control littermates [Zucker lean control (ZLC) rat]. In contrast, proliferating cells and differentiated neuroblasts were significantly decreased in the ZDF-Sham group compared to the ZLC group. Although EA treatment decreased blood glucose levels, this was not statistically significant when compared to blood glucose levels changes in the ZDF-Sham group. However, proliferating cells and differentiated neuroblasts were significantly increased with EA in ZDF rats as compared to those in the ZDF-Sham group. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels were significantly decreased in hippocampal homogenates of ZDF-Sham group compared to those in the ZLC group. The EA treatment significantly increased the BDNF levels compared to those in the ZDF-Sham group, and BDNF levels in this group were similar to those in the ZLC group. These results suggest that EA at ST36 and GV20 can ameliorate the reductions in proliferating cells and differentiated neuroblasts in the dentate gyrus induced by type-2 diabetes without significantly reducing blood glucose levels with increasing BDNF levels.