Electroacupuncture (EA) is an effective curative method for diseases including cerebral ischemia. In the current study, we investigated the effects of EA treatment on the activations of survival Akt and proapoptotic caspase-9 after 90 min of transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (tMCAO) in rat. Immunoreactivity of phospho-Akt (p-Akt) increased in the ipsilateral hemisphere after tMCAO with a peak at 8 h, and EA enhanced the Akt expression both in the number and the staining strength mainly in the ischemic penumbra (IP) at 8 and 24 h. Cleaved caspase-9 was strongly induced at 8 h in IP, which was suppressed with EA. The number of terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated uridine 5′ triphosphate-biotin nick end labelling positive cells reduced at 24 h in the cerebral cortex. These results suggest that EA potentiated the Akt and suppressed the caspase-9 activations, and may have a potential to reduce the number of neuronal cells undergoing apoptotic cell death.
- Transient middle cerebral artery occlusion
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