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Electroacupuncture at ST36 acupoint regulates stem cells during experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis

Chen, X;Wang, Y;Ji, J;Li, C;Zhuang, W;Luo, J;Shi, Y;Lin, Q;Wu, J;Li, A;Wang, J;Meng, Y;Zhang, S;Lang, X;Liu, X;Sun, B;Li, H;Liu, Y;

Electroacupuncture (EA) is given to assist in the treatment of MS, which is an effective therapeutic method. However, the therapy mechanism of EA related to stem cells in the treatment of MS is not yet known. In this study, we used a classic animal model of multiple sclerosis: experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) to evaluate the therapeutic effect of EA at Zusanli (ST36) acupoint in EAE and shed light on its potential roles in the effects of stem cells in vivo.The EAE animal models were established. From the first day after immunization, EAE model mice received EA at ST36 acupoint, named the EA group. The weight and clinical score of the three groups were recorded for 28 days. The demyelination, inflammatory cell infiltration, and markers of neural stem cells (NSCs), hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), and mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) were compared.We showed that EAE mice treated with EA at ST36 acupoint, were suppressed in demyelination and inflammatory cell infiltration, and thus decreased clinical score and weight loss and mitigated the development of EAE when compared with the EAE group. Moreover, our data revealed that the proportions of NSCs, HSCs, and MSCs increased in the EA group compared with the EAE group.Our study suggested that EA at ST36 acupoint was an effective nonpharmacological therapeutic protocol that not only reduced the CNS demyelination and inflammatory cell infiltration in EAE disease but also increased the proportions of various stem cells. Further study is necessary to better understand how EA at the ST36 acupoint affects EAE.