Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine

, Volume 19, Issue 8, pp 573–581 | Cite as

Improved mesenchymal stem cell survival in ischemic heart through electroacupuncture

  • Jin Zhang (张 进)Email author
  • Xiao-hua Jia (贾晓花)
  • Zhi-wei Xu (徐志伟)
  • Fu-ping Ding (丁富平)
  • Xin Zhou (周 欣)
  • Hao Fu (符 浩)
  • Yi Liu (刘 义)
  • Lai-liang Ou (欧来良)
  • Zong-jin Li (李宗金)
  • De-ling Kong (孔德领)Email author
Original Article



To investigate whether electroacupuncture (EA) can promote cell survival and enhance heart function of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) therapy.


MSCs were isolated from bone marrow and expanded in Minimum Essential Medium Alpha (α-MEM). MI was induced in 72 Sprague-Dawley (S-D) rats by ligation of the left anterior descending coronary artery (LAD) for 30 min and reperfusion. MI rats randomly received injection of 1×106 DiI-labeled MSCs alone (n =24, MSC group), or plus electroacupuncture (EA) at Neiguan (PC6, n=24, EA+MSC group), or saline (n =24, saline group). EA treatment was performed for 4 days. Another 24 rats were subjected to chest-open surgery without LAD occlusion and treatment (sham group). Three time points, 4, 14 and 28 days (n =8 for each group) were included in this study. The survival of transplanted MSCs and the protective gene expression were analyzed by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and Western blot at day 4 and 14. Left ventricular remodeling, cardiac function, infarction area, fibrosis and capillary density were analyzed at day 28.


EA can enhance MSC survival (2.6-fold up) at day 4. Big capillary density was 53% higher in EA+MSC treated group than MSC alone group. Furthermore, the rats treated by EA reduced the fibrosis and had 36% smaller infarct size comparing to MSC alone. EA also attenuated left ventricular remodeling and enhanced the functional recovery of infarcted hearts at week 4.


EA at Neiguan acupoint can promote the stem cell survival and improve ischemic heart function. EA could become a useful approach in stem cell therapy for ischemia heart diseases.


electroacupuncture Neiguan (PC6) mesenchymal stem cell myocardial ischemia apoptosis 


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Copyright information

© Chinese Association of the Integration of Traditional and Western Medicine and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jin Zhang (张 进)
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Xiao-hua Jia (贾晓花)
    • 1
  • Zhi-wei Xu (徐志伟)
    • 2
  • Fu-ping Ding (丁富平)
    • 3
  • Xin Zhou (周 欣)
    • 4
  • Hao Fu (符 浩)
    • 1
  • Yi Liu (刘 义)
    • 1
  • Lai-liang Ou (欧来良)
    • 1
  • Zong-jin Li (李宗金)
    • 1
  • De-ling Kong (孔德领)
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Medicinal Chemical Biology, College of Life ScienceNankai UniversityTianjinChina
  2. 2.School of Fundamental Medical SciencesGuangzhou University of Chinese MedicineGuangzhouChina
  3. 3.School of NursingGuangzhou University of Chinese MedicineGuangzhouChina
  4. 4.Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases, Pingjin HospitalMedical College of Armed Police ForcesTianjinChina

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