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BACKGROUND Depression is a major mood disorder. Some patients have been reported to improve following acupuncture. This study aimed to investigate the effects of acupuncture on behaviors associated with depression in the chronic unpredictable mild stress (CUMS) rat model. The expression of signaling pathway components of nitric oxide (NO) and cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) in the rat hippocampus and plasma were also measured. MATERIAL AND METHODS Male Sprague-Dawley rats (N=40) were divided into the control group (N=10), the model group (N=10), the acupuncture group (N=10), and the non-acupuncture group (N=10). The rat model was established by orphaning combined with chronic unpredictable mild stress (CUMS) for six weeks. The acupuncture group was given 21 days of treatment using acupoints (AP) or non-acupoints (NP). Rat behaviors associated with depression were tested using the sucrose preference test (SPT), the open field test (OFT), and the elevated plus maze (EPM) test. Enzyme-linked immunoassay (ELISA) and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) were used to detect the expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS), and the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor subunits, NR1, NR2A, and NR2B in the rat plasma and hippocampus. RESULTS Acupuncture reversed the behaviors associated with depression in the CUMS rat model and reduced the expression of components of the NO and cGMP pathway in the rat hippocampus and plasma. CONCLUSIONS In the CUMS rat model, treatment with acupuncture reduced behaviors associated with depression, and these effects were associated with changes in the NO and cGMP signaling pathway.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Medical science monitor : international medical journal of experimental and clinical research
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A free radical gas produced endogenously by a variety of mammalian cells, synthesized from ARGININE by NITRIC OXIDE SYNTHASE. Nitric oxide is one of the ENDOTHELIUM-DEPENDENT RELAXING FACTORS released by the vascular endothelium and mediates VASODILATION. It also inhibits platelet aggregation, induces disaggregation of aggregated platelets, and inhibits platelet adhesion to the vascular endothelium. Nitric oxide activates cytosolic GUANYLATE CYCLASE and thus elevates intracellular levels of CYCLIC GMP.
An NADPH-dependent enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of L-ARGININE and OXYGEN to produce CITRULLINE and NITRIC OXIDE.
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