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Effects of Electroacupuncture on Expression of D1 Receptor (D1R), Phosphorylation of Extracellular-Regulated Protein Kinase 1/2 (p-ERK1/2), and c-Fos in the Insular Cortex of Ketamine-Addicted Rats

Feng Wu, Jian Ding, Huai-bin Li, Hua-chun Miao, Rui Bao, Shan Yang

(Department of Anatomy, Wannan Medical College, Wuhu, Anhui, China (mainland))

Med Sci Monit Basic Res 2019; 25:26-32

DOI: 10.12659/MSMBR.913285

BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of electroacupuncture (EA) on expression of the D1 receptor (D1R), phosphorylation of extracellular-regulated protein kinase 1/2 (p-ERK1/2) and c-Fos in the insular cortex (IC) of ketamine-addicted rats.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into 7 groups: the normal group, the normal saline (NS) group, the ketamine (Ket) group, the U0126+Ket group, the SCH23390+Ket group, the Ket+acupoints EA (EA1) group, and the Ket+ non-acupoints EA (EA2) group. We used immunohistochemistry to detect the expression of D1R, p-ERK1/2, and c-Fos. We also used Nissl staining techniques to study the morphology of IC neurons.
RESULTS: Our study demonstrated that the ketamine group had sparsely distributed neurons, large intracellular vacuoles, nuclei shift, and unclear nucleolus. The number of Nissl-positive (neuronal) cells in the ketamine group were decreased than in the normal group. Our results also indicated that there was significantly lower expression of D1R, p-ERK1/2, and c-Fos in the IC of the U0126+Ket group, SCH23390+Ket group, and Ket+EA1 group as compared with that of the Ket group.
CONCLUSIONS: Ketamine addiction induces c-Fos overexpression in the IC by increasing the expression of D1R and p-ERK1/2. Acupoints EA downregulate D1R and p-ERK1/2 by reducing the overexpression of c-Fos.

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