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Acupuncture Relieves the Excessive Excitation of Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Cortex Axis Function and Correlates with the Regulatory Mechanism of GR, CRH, and ACTHR

Conclusion: The results explained that acupuncture regulated the stress reaction via promoting the combination of glucocorticoids (GC) with GR, and GR protein expression.It had been indicated in the previous studies that acupuncture relieved the excessive excitation of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal cortex axis (HPAA) function induced by stress stimulation. But the changes in glucocorticoid receptor (GR) induced by acupuncture have not been detected clearly. The objective of the study was to observe the impacts of acupuncture on the protein expressions of corticotrophin releasing hormone (CRH), adrenocorticotropic hormone receptor (ACTHR), and GR under the physiological and stress states. The results showed that under the stress state, acupuncture upregulated the protein expression of GR in the hippocampus, hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus (PVN), and pituitary gland, downregulated the protein expression of GR in the adrenal cortex, and obviously reduced the protein expressions of CRH and ACTHR. Under the physiological state, acupuncture promoted GR protein expression in the hippocampus and CRH protein expression in the hippocampus and PVN. The results explained that acupuncture regulated the stress reaction via promoting the combination of glucocorticoids (GC) with GR, and GR protein expression. The increase of GR protein expression induced feedback inhibition on the overexpression of CRH and ACTHR, likely decreased GC level, and caused the reduction of GR protein expression in the adrenal cortex.

Reference
S.J. Wang et al., “Acupuncture relieves the excessive excitation of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal cortex axis function and correlates with the regulatory mechanism of GR, CRH and ACTHR.” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 495379, 9 pages. http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/495379