Reactive oxygen species can directly affect the conformation and activity of sulfhydryl-containing proteins by oxidation of their thiol moiety. During the process of ischemia-reperfusion, the thioredoxin (Trx) system (consisting of thioredoxin reductase (TR), Trx and NADPH) prevents susceptible proteins from this oxidative modification. Oxidative damage is one of the most damaging stress in ischemia. If oxidative stress could be minimized, the damage occurred will be minimized accordingly. We therefore investigated whether electroacupuncture (EA) treatment at Fengchi (GB20) or Zusanli (ST36) acupoints in post-ischemic rats could increase TR-related activities and Trx expression which would translate into maintaining the intact thiol moiety of susceptible proteins in the surrounding. Our results indicated that EA treatment at either acupoint increased the Trx expression in ischemic-reperfused brain tissues. Induced Trx expressed levels gradually increased from post-ischemia day 1 to day 4. Statistical analysis revealed that there was no observable difference in the effect of EA treatment at GB20 and ST36. Sham EA treatment did not induce any Trx expression. EA at either acupoint did not alter TR activities in both non-ischemic and ischemic-reperfused rat brains. Taken overall, our finding suggests that EA treatment at GB20 or ST36 could increase Trx expression which could minimize oxidative modifications of thiol groups of surrounding proteins.
- Cerebral ischemia
- Thioredoxin reductase