Neurological Sciences

, Volume 32, Issue 3, pp 369–374 | Cite as

Electroacupuncture enhances cell proliferation and neuronal differentiation in young rat brains

  • Jianfeng Gao
  • Sheng Wang
  • Xiaoyang Wang
  • Changlian Zhu
Original Article


To investigate the effect of electroacupuncture on cell proliferation and differentiation in young rat hippocampus, postnatal day-14 rats were assigned randomly to control, ketamine anesthesia, nonacupoint, or acupoint electroacupuncture groups. Electroacupuncture was applied at bilateral acupoints (Quchi, Waiguan, Huantiao, and Zusanli) 30 min daily for 7 successive days. The proliferation and neuronal differentiation of proliferated surviving cells in the dentate gyrus were evaluated at 4 weeks after last stimulation. The stimulatory effect of electroacupuncture on cell proliferation had a long-lasting effect, as indicated by the increased phosphor-histone H3-positive cells. The number of proliferated and survival cells, indicated by BrdU labeling, was highest in the electroacupuncture group. The number of newly differentiated neurons, as indicated by BrdU/NeuN double labeling, was significantly higher in the electroacupuncture group than in any of the other groups. This finding provides a theoretical basis for the clinical application of acupuncture to cerebral injury rehabilitation in children.


Cell proliferation Electroacupuncture Hippocampus Neurogenesis 



This work was supported by the Medical Science Academy of Henan, a Grant from the Department of Education of Henan Province, the National Natural Science Foundation of China, and the Ministry of Education of China (the third period 211 project).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jianfeng Gao
    • 1
    • 3
  • Sheng Wang
    • 1
  • Xiaoyang Wang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Changlian Zhu
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PediatricsThe Third Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou UniversityZhengzhouChina
  2. 2.Henan Key Laboratory for Neonatal Brain InjuryZhengzhouChina
  3. 3.Department of PhysiologyHenan Traditional Chinese Medical CollegeZhengzhouChina

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