Effect of Acupuncture on Depression and Cell Proliferation in Hippocampal Gyrus Dentatus of Maternal-separated Rat Pups

침술 치료가 모성분리 새끼 쥐의 우울증과 해마의 치상회 세포증식에 미치는 영향

  • 박정식 (가천대학교 한의과대학) ;
  • 임형호 (가천대학교 한의과대학)
  • Received : 2019.03.29
  • Accepted : 2019.04.05
  • Published : 2019.04.30


Objectives The loss of maternal care during early postnatal period may increase development of mood-related disorders, such as depression, anxiety, and personality disorders. In this study, the effect of acupuncture on depression in relation with cell proliferation in the hippocampal gyrus dentatus was investigated using maternal-separated rat pups. Methods On the postnatal 14th day, rat pups from six dams were grouped into following groups: maternal care group, maternal separation group, maternal separation and non-acupoint-acupunctured group, maternal separation and Zusanli-acupunctured group, and maternal separation and fluoxetine-treated group. Acupuncture was performed from postnatal 28th day to postnatal 37th day. The rat pups that belong in the maternal separation and fluoxetine-treated group were injected subcutaneously with 5 mg/kg fluoxetine hydrochloride once a day for the same period of time. To evaluate activity of the rat pups, open field test was performed. Immunohistochemistry for serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) and tryptophan hydroxylase (TPH) in the dorsal raphe and for 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine (BrdU) in the hippocampal gyrus dentatus was conducted. Results The present results reveal that the activity was decreased by maternal separation. In contrast, acupuncture at Zusanli overcame maternal separation-induced hypoactivity. Maternal separation suppressed TPH expression and 5-HT synthesis in the dorsal raphe and decreased cell proliferation in the hippocampal gyrus dentatus of rat pups. In contrast, acupuncture at Zusanli alleviated maternal separation-induced decrease of 5-HT synthesisand TPH expression. Conclusions The present results demonstrate that acupuncture at Zusanli ameliorated depressive state through increasing cell proliferation and enhancing 5-HT synthesis.


Supported by : 가천대학교


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