Genetics and molecular biology

Neuroprotective changes in degeneration-related gene expression in the substantia nigra following acupuncture in an MPTP mouse model of Parkinsonism: Microarray analysis.

PMID 25983633


Parkinson's disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by the death of dopamine-generating cells in the substantia nigra (SN). Acupuncture stimulation results in an enhanced survival of dopaminergic neurons in the SN in Parkinsonism animal models. The present study investigated changes in gene expression profiles measured using whole transcript array in the SN region related to the inhibitory effects of acupuncture in a chronic 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) Parkinsonism model. In this model, acupuncture stimulation at GB34 and LR3 attenuated the decrease in tyrosine hydroxylase in the SN region; stimulation at non-acupoints did not suppress this decrease. Gene array analysis revealed that 22 (10 annotated genes: Cdh1, Itih2, Mpzl2, Rdh9, Serping1, Slc6a13, Slc6a20a, Slc6a4, Tph2, and Ucma) probes that were up-regulated in MPTP animals relative to controls were exclusively down-regulated by acupuncture stimulation. In addition, 17 (two annotated genes: 4921530L21Rik and Gm13931) probes that were down-regulated in MPTP animals compared to controls were exclusively up-regulated by acupuncture stimulation. These findings indicate that the 39 probes (12 annotated genes) affected by MPTP and acupuncture may be responsible for the inhibitory effects of acupuncture on degeneration-related gene expression in the SN following damage induced by MPTP intoxication.