Author(s): Takaoka Y, Ohta M, Ito A, Takamatsu K, Sugano A,
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Abstract Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) may provide patients with an alternative to traditional medicine, but an assessment of its efficacy is required. One CAM method, electroacupuncture (EA) treatment, is a maneuver that utilizes stimulation of acupuncture needles with a low-frequency microcurrent. To study the effect of short-term EA, we evaluated the differential expression of genes induced by EA in mouse skeletal muscle for up to 24 h. We then used RT-PCR to confirm the expression patterns of six differentially expressed genes. Bioinformatics analysis of their transcription control regions showed that EA-inducible genes have numerous common binding motifs that are related to cell differentiation, cell proliferation, muscle repair, and hyperplasia. These results suggested that EA treatment may induce cell proliferation in skeletal muscle. To verify this possibility, we used EA to stimulate mouse skeletal muscle daily for up to 1 mo and examined the long-term effects. Immunohistochemical analysis showed that nuclei of muscle cells treated with EA for 1 mo, especially nuclei of satellite cells, reacted with anti-human PCNA. Also, expression of the gene encoding myostatin, which is a growth repressor in muscle satellite cells, was suppressed by daily EA treatment for 1 wk; EA treatment for 1 mo resulted in more marked suppression of the gene. These molecular findings constitute strong evidence that EA treatment suppresses myostatin expression, which leads to a satellite cell-related proliferative reaction and repair in skeletal muscle.
This article was published in Physiol Genomics
and referenced in Journal of Yoga & Physical Therapy