Preliminary basic research and clinical findings have demonstrated that electroacupuncture therapy exhibits positive effects in ameliorating depression. However, most studies of the underlying mechanism are at the single gene level; there are few reports regarding the mechanism at the whole-genome level. Using a rat genomic gene-chip, Dr. Dongmei Duan and co-workers from General PLA Hospital in China profiled hippocampal gene expression changes in rats after electroacupuncture therapy. Electroacupuncture therapy alleviated depression-related manifestations in the model rats. Using gene-chip analysis, electroacupuncture at Baihui (DU20) and Yintang (EX-HN3) regulates the expression of 21 genes. Real-time PCR showed that the genes Vgf, Igf2, Tmp32, Loc500373, Hif1a, Folr1, Nmb, and Rtn were upregulated or downregulated in depression and that their expression tended to normalize after electroacupuncture therapy. These results, published in the Neural Regeneration Research (Vol. 9, No. 1, 2014), indicate that electroacupuncture modulates depression by regulating the expression of particular genes.
Article: " Hippocampal gene expression in a rat model of depression after electroacupuncture at the Baihui and Yintang acupoints," by Dongmei Duan1, Xiuyan Yang2, Tu Ya3, Liping Chen1 (1 Department of Traditional Chinese Medicine of South Building, Chinese PLA General Hospital, Beijing 100853, China; 2 Institute of Health Maintenance, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing 100029, China; 3 School of Acupuncture and Moxibustion, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing 100037, China)
Duan DM, Yang XY, Ya T, Chen LP. Hippocampal gene expression in a rat model of depression after electroacupuncture at the Baihui and Yintang acupoints. Neural Regen Res. 2014;9(1):76-83.