Acupuncture and Alzheimer’s Disease

Acupuncture Improves Cerebral Microenvironment in Mice with Alzheimer’s Disease Treated with Hippocampal Neural Stem Cells

By:Zhao, L (Zhao, Lan)[ 1,2 ] ; Zhou, CL (Zhou, Chunlei)[ 3 ] ; Li, L (Li, Li)[ 1,2 ] ; Liu, JW (Liu, Jianwei)[ 4 ] ; Shi, HY (Shi, Huiyan)[ 1,2 ] ; Kan, BH (Kan, Bohong)[ 1,2 ] ; Li, Z (Li, Zhen)[ 1,2 ] ; Li, YZ (Li, Yunzhu)[ 4 ] ; Han, JX (Han, Jingxian)[ 1 ] ; Yu, JC (Yu, Jianchun)[ 1 ]


Volume: 54, Issue: 7

Pages: 5120-5130

DOI: 10.1007/s12035-016-0054-5

Published: SEP 2017 


Transplantation with neural stem cells (NSCs) is a promising clinical therapy for Alzheimer’s disease (AD). However, the final fate of grafted NSCs is mainly determined by the host microenvironment. Therefore, this study investigated the role of Sanjiao acupuncture in the NSCs-treated hippocampus of a mouse model, senescence-accelerated mouse prone 8 (SAMP8) using Western blot, real-time fluorescent PCR, and immunofluorescence techniques. Meanwhile, we developed a co-culture model of hippocampal tissue specimens and NSCs in vitro, to observe the effects of acupuncture on survival, proliferation and differentiation of grafted NSCs using flow cytometry. Results showed that acupuncture pre- and post-NSCs transplantation significantly improved senescence-induced cognitive dysfunction (P < 0.05); upregulated the expression of basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF), epidermal growth factor (EGF), and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) (P < 0.05); and also increased the count of neuron-specific nuclear protein (NeuN)- and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP)-positive cells (P < 0.05). Therapeutic acupuncture may regulate the cytokine levels associated with survival, proliferation, and differentiation of NSCs in hippocampal microenvironment, to promote the repair of damaged cells, resulting in improved cognitive performance in mice.


Author Information

Reprint Address: Zhao, L; Yu, JC (reprint author)

Tianjin Univ Tradit Chinese Med, Teaching Hosp 1, Tianjin 300193, Peoples R China.

Reprint Address: Zhao, L (reprint author)

  Tianjin Key Lab Acupuncture & Moxibust, Tianjin 300193, Peoples R China.