- Volume 28 Issue 4
Objectives Disuse muscle atrophy occurs in response to pathologies such as joint immobilization, inactivity or bed rest. Muscle disuse is accompanied by an increase in apoptotic signaling, which mediates some of the responses to unloading in the muscle. GB34 (Yanglingquan) is a acupuncture point on the lower leg and one of the most frequently used points in various skeletomuscular diseases. In this study, the hypothesis that the acupuncture at GB34 could attenuate immobilization-induced skeletal muscle atrophy was tested. Methods The left hindlimb immobilization was performed with casting tape in both GB34 group (n=10) and Control group (n=10). The rats in GB34 group were daily treated with acupuncture at GB34. After 2 weeks of immobilization, the morphology of right and left gastrocnemius muscles in both GB34 and Control groups were assessed by hematoxylin and eosin staining. To investigate the immobilization-induced muscular apoptosis, the immunohistochemical analysis of Bax and Bcl-2 was carried out. Results GB34 group represented the significant protective effects against the reductions of the left gastrocnemius muscles weight and average cross section area to compared with Control group. The acupuncture at GB34 significantly reduced the immunoreactivity of BAX and increased the immunoreactivity of Bcl-2 in gastrocnemius muscle compared with Control group. Conclusions These results suggest that the acupuncture at GB34 has protective effects against immobilization-induced muscle atrophy by regulating the activities of apoptosis-associated BAX/Bcl-2 proteins in gastrocnemius muscle.
Disuse atrophy;Gastrocnemius;GB34 (Yanglingquan);Apoptosis