Electro-acupuncture Regulation of Central Monoamine Neurotransmitters in Ischaemia-Reperfusion

  • Mingshu Xu
  • Linbao Ge
  • Dan Zhao


Cerebrovascular disease is one of the three primary diseases, with cerebral ischaemia accounting for more than 80 % of cerebrovascular events. Monoaminergic neurons are distributed throughout the central nervous system and play an important role in physiological functions. These neurons also affect the pathophysiological process of cerebrovascular disease. While the effects of monoamine neurotransmitters on cerebral ischaemia-reperfusion injury/recovery have been widely studied, to date, the exact role of these neurotransmitters is unclear. Based on previous reports, we speculate that monoamine neurotransmitters have deleterious effects in the early stage of ischaemia but that they promote recovery in the later stage of cerebral ischaemia-reperfusion. Due to the various stages of ischaemia and changes in the internal and external cellular environment, monoamine neurotransmitters function as a “double-edged sword”. A large body of prior evidence has demonstrated that electro-acupuncture is safe and effective for the treatment of cerebral ischaemia. Our findings suggest that Fengchi electro-acupuncture can reduce the accumulation of acid base metabolin and can alleviate the injury caused by cerebral ischaemia-reperfusion. This method can regulate the levels of dopamine (DA) and norepinephrine (NE), as well as selectively strengthen the neuronal activity of noradrenergic and dopaminergic nerves in the rats with cerebral ischaemia-reperfusion, increasing the metabolic levels of NE and DA and promoting nerve cell recovery.


Electro-acupuncture Brain Ischaemia-reperfusion Rats Monoamine neurotransmitters 



This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) (Grant No. 81001547), Shanghai Science and Technology Commission (SSTC) (Grant No. 014319364), and Shanghai Education Commission (Grant No. 06CZ044). The authors thank Jia Xu, Changzhi Li, Cheng Fang, Xinhui Wang, Zhiqiang Wang, Yingru Chen, Chunyan Chen, Yin Shou, and Yingqian Zhao, who participated and contributed to this study.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Laboratory of Cerebral NeurobiologyShanghai Research Institute of Acupuncture and MeridianShanghaiChina
  2. 2.Shanghai Research Institute of QigongShanghaiChina
  3. 3.Shanghai Research Center for Acupuncture and MeridianShanghaiChina

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