Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology

, Volume 31, Issue 3, pp 377–391 | Cite as

Neuroprotective Changes of Striatal Degeneration-Related Gene Expression by Acupuncture in an MPTP Mouse Model of Parkinsonism: Microarray Analysis

  • Yeong-Gon Choi
  • Sujung Yeo
  • Yeon-Mi Hong
  • Sabina Lim
Original Research


Acupuncture at acupoints GB34 and LR3 has been reported to inhibit nigrostriatal degeneration in Parkinsonism models, yet the genes related to this preventive effect of acupuncture on the nigrostriatal dopaminergic system remain elusive. This study investigated gene expression profile changes in the striatal region of 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP)-induced Parkinsonism models after acupuncture at the acupoints GB34 and LR3 using a whole transcript genechip microarray (Affymetrix genechip mouse gene 1.0 ST array). It was confirmed that acupuncture at these acupoints could inhibit the decrease of tyrosine hydroxylase and dopamine transporter in the nigrostriatal region of the MPTP model while acupuncture at the non-acupoints could not counteract this decrease. Genechip gene array analysis (fold change cutoff 1.3 and P < 0.05) showed that 12 of the 69 probes up-regulated in MPTP when compared to the control were down-regulated by acupuncture at the acupoints. Of these 12 probes, 11 probes (nine annotated genes) were exclusively down-regulated by acupuncture only at the acupoints; the Gfral gene was excluded because it was commonly down-regulated by acupuncture at both the acupoints and the non-acupoints. In addition, 28 of the 189 probes down-regulated in MPTP when compared to the control were up-regulated by acupuncture at the acupoints. Of these 28 probes, 19 probes (seven annotated genes) were exclusively up-regulated by acupuncture only at the acupoints while nine probes were commonly up-regulated by acupuncture at both the acupoints and the non-acupoints. The regulation patterns of representative genes in real-time RT-PCR correlated with those of the genes in the microarray. These results suggest that the 30 probes (16 annotated genes), which are affected by MPTP and acupuncture only at the acupoints, are responsible for exerting in the striatal regions the inhibitory effect of acupuncture at the acupoints on MPTP-induced striatal degeneration.


Parkinson’s disease Gene array Differentially expressed genes Striatum Neurodegeneration 



This work was supported by the Mid-career Researcher Program through an NRF grant funded by the MEST, Republic of Korea (No. 2010-0000385).

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yeong-Gon Choi
    • 1
  • Sujung Yeo
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yeon-Mi Hong
    • 1
    • 2
  • Sabina Lim
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Research Group of Pain and Neuroscience, WHO Collaborating Center for Traditional Medicine, East–West Medical Research InstituteKyung Hee UniversitySeoulRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Department of Basic Eastern Medical ScienceKyung Hee UniversitySeoulRepublic of Korea

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