Electroacupuncture alleviates ischaemic brain injury by regulating the miRNA-34/Wnt/autophagy axis

pubmed: wnt1 2021-05-25

Brain Res Bull. 2021 May;170:155-161. doi: 10.1016/j.brainresbull.2021.02.002. Epub 2021 Feb 5.


Electroacupuncture (EA), a modern form of acupuncture therapy, has been widely used for the treatment of ischaemic brain injury. However, the molecular mechanism by which EA improves ischaemic brain injury remains unclear. In the current study, middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) rats were treated with EA. The infarct volumes and apoptosis of neurocytes were assessed to determine the therapeutic effect of EA. The differentially expressed miRNAs between the control, MCAO and MCAO treated with EA groups were detected by high-throughput sequencing. The results indicated that EA treatment decreased neurocyte apoptosis and ischaemic infarct volume. Between the three groups, miR-34, miR-235 and miR-275 were found to be significantly different. Furthermore, the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathway data suggest that the Wnt pathway may play an important role in ischaemic brain injury and in the treatment of EA. Our data documented that miR-34 was obviously increased in the MCAO group, while EA treatment decreased miR-34 expression. WNT1 was the target of miR-34 and was confirmed by a luciferase reporter assay. A previous study suggested that the Wnt pathway mediates autophagy in EA-pretreated MCAO mice. Our data further confirmed that EA treatment after MCAO also alleviated autophagy in the MCAO group. Our results suggest that EA treatment alleviates ischaemic brain injury by inhibiting autophagy through the miR-34/Wnt pathway.

PMID:33556563 | DOI:10.1016/j.brainresbull.2021.02.002