1Key Laboratory of Acupuncture and Medicine Research of Ministry of Education, Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, Nanjing, 210023 China
2Affiliated Hospital of Xuzhou Medical University, Xuzhou Medical University, Xuzhou, 221004 China
Youbing Xia, Email: moc.anis@8691dbyx.
Electroacupuncture (EA) is considered to have potential antidiabetic effects; however, the role of the pancreatic intrinsic nervous system (PINS) in EA-induced amelioration of type 2 diabetes (T2DM) remains unclear. Therefore, we investigated whether EA at ST25 exerts any beneficial effects on insulin resistance (IR), inflammation severity, and pancreatic β cell function via the PINS in a rat model of a high-fat diet-streptozotocin (HFD/STZ)-induced diabetes. To this end, Sprague Dawley rats were fed with HFD to induce IR, followed by STZ (35 mg/kg, i.p.) injection to establish the T2DM model. After hyperglycemia was confirmed as fasting glucose level > 16.7 mmol/L, the rats were treated with EA (2 mA, 2/15 Hz) for the next 28 days. Model rats showed increased serum glucose, insulin, IR, and TNF-α levels with a concomitant decrease in β cell function. Microscopy examination of the pancreas revealed pathological changes in islets, which reverted to near-normal levels after EA at ST25. EA improved islet cell morphology by increasing islet area and reducing vacuolation. EA at ST25 decreased transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) and increased substance P (SP) and calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) expression. Subsequently, insulin secretion decreased and impaired pancreatic endocrine function was restored through the TRPV1 channel (SP/CGRP)-insulin circuit. EA increased choline acetyltransferase and neuropeptide Y expression and controlled inflammation. It also enhanced the cocaine and amphetamine-regulated transcript prepropeptide expression and promoted glucagon-like peptide-1 secretion. Additionally, the electrophysiological activity of PINS during acupuncture (2.71 ± 1.72 Hz) was significantly increased compared to the pre-acupuncture frequency (0.32 ± 0.37 Hz, P < 0.05). Thus, our study demonstrated the beneficial effect of EA on β cell dysfunction via the PINS in rat models of HFD-STZ-induced T2DM.
Keywords: Diabetes, Insulin, TRPV1 receptor, Streptozotocin, Acupuncture, Inflammation