Electroacupuncture reverses ethanol-induced locomotor sensitization and subsequent pERK expression in mice



Electroacupuncture reverses ethanol-induced locomotor sensitization and subsequent pERK expression in mice


Journal Publication






1121-33 Lid - 10.1017/S14

Research Type




Extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) plays a role in neuronal changes induced by repeated drug exposure. Given that electroacupuncture reverses locomotor sensitization induced by ethanol, we investigated whether this effect is parallel to ERK signalling. Mice received daily ethanol (2 g/kg i.p), for 21 d. Electroacupuncture was performed daily, during four (subsequent) days of ethanol withdrawal. The stimulus of 2 Hz or 100 Hz was provided in combinations of two acupoints: Ea1 (ST-36/Zusanli and PC-6/Neiguan) or Ea2 (Du-14/Dazhui and Du-20/Baihui). The specificity of acupoint effects were assessed by the inclusion of additional groups: Ea3 (ST-25/Tianshu--acupoint used for other non-related disorders), Sham1 or Sham2 (transdermic stimulation near the respective acupoints). The control group was only handled during withdrawal and the saline group was chronically treated with saline and handled similarly to controls. At day 5 of withdrawal, each group was divided in two subgroups, according to the presence or absence of ethanol challenge. The animals were perfused and their brains processed for pERK immunohistochemistry. Only Ea1 at 100 Hz (Ea1_100) and Ea2 at 2 Hz (Ea2_2) reversed locomotor sensitization induced by ethanol. Ethanol withdrawal decreases pERK in the dorsomedial striatum. This decrease is not abolished by electroacupuncture. Conversely, ethanol challenge increases pERK in the dorsomedial striatum, infralimbic cortex and central nucleus of amygdala. The specificity of acupoint stimulation to reverse these increases was seen only for Ea2_2, in the infralimbic cortex and dorsomedial striatum. Therefore, behavioural effects of Ea2_2 (but not Ea1_100) depend, at least in part, on ERK signalling.


Date of Input: 6/25/2015; Priority: Normal; Laboratory of Neurobiology, Group of Neuronal Plasticity and Psychiatric Disorders, Federal University of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil.; eng; Web: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=21859515

has study population number


Item sets