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      Effect of Electroacupuncture on Reuptake of Serotonin via miRNA-16 Expression in a Rat Model of Depression

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          The current study aimed to investigate the effects and mechanisms of electroacupuncture (EA) treatment applied to Bai hui (GV20) and Yin tang (GV29) acupoints (1 mA, 2 Hz, continuous wave, 20 minutes) for 28 days in a rat model of chronic unpredictable mild stress (CUMS) on reuptake of serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT)) and miRNA-16 levels in the hippocampus and serum. Rats were housed in individual cages, and CUMS was used to establish a rat model of depression. After EA treatment for 4 weeks, behavioral changes and indices including 5-HT transporter (SERT), 5-HT, and miRNA-16 levels in the hippocampus and serum were examined. The EA treatment significantly improved base levels of sucrose preference and exploratory behavior and significantly decreased SERT protein and mRNA expression in the hippocampus of depressed rats. Significantly increased 5-HT levels were observed, and miRNA-16 levels were significantly decreased in the hippocampus and serum of depressed rats. In conclusion, the antidepressant effects of EA treatment may be affected via inhibition of 5-HT reuptake, upregulation of 5-HT levels, and inhibition of miRNA-16 expression in the hippocampus and serum.

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          Most cited references 67

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          Reduction of sucrose preference by chronic unpredictable mild stress, and its restoration by a tricyclic antidepressant.

          Rats exposed chronically (5-9 weeks) to a variety of mild unpredictable stressors showed a reduced consumption of and preference for saccharin or sucrose solutions. Preference deficits took at least 2 weeks to develop and were maintained for more than 2 weeks after termination of the stress regime. Sucrose preference was unaffected by 1 week of treatment with the tricyclic antidepressant DMI but returned to normal after 2-4 weeks of DMI treatment. DMI did not alter sucrose preference in unstressed animals. No significant changes were seen in saline preference either during stress or following drug treatment. DMI reduced blood corticosterone and glucose levels, but stress did not significantly alter either measure. The results are discussed in terms of an animal model of endogenous depression.
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            miR-16 targets the serotonin transporter: a new facet for adaptive responses to antidepressants.

            The serotonin transporter (SERT) ensures the recapture of serotonin and is the pharmacological target of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants. We show that SERT is a target of microRNA-16 (miR-16). miR-16 is expressed at higher levels in noradrenergic than in serotonergic cells; its reduction in noradrenergic neurons causes de novo SERT expression. In mice, chronic treatment with the SSRI fluoxetine (Prozac) increases miR-16 levels in serotonergic raphe nuclei, which reduces SERT expression. Further, raphe exposed to fluoxetine release the neurotrophic factor S100β, which acts on noradrenergic cells of the locus coeruleus. By decreasing miR-16, S100β turns on the expression of serotonergic functions in noradrenergic neurons. Based on pharmacological and behavioral data, we propose that miR-16 contributes to the therapeutic action of SSRI antidepressants in monoaminergic neurons.
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              Stress, serotonin, and hippocampal neurogenesis in relation to depression and antidepressant effects.

              Chronic stressful life events are risk factors for developing major depression, the pathophysiology of which is strongly linked to impairments in serotonin (5-HT) neurotransmission. Exposure to chronic unpredictable stress (CUS) has been found to induce depressive-like behaviours, including passive behavioural coping and anhedonia in animal models, along with many other affective, cognitive, and behavioural symptoms. The heterogeneity of these symptoms represents the plurality of corticolimbic structures involved in mood regulation that are adversely affected in the disorder. Chronic stress has also been shown to negatively regulate adult hippocampal neurogenesis, a phenomenon that is involved in antidepressant effects and regulates subsequent stress responses. Although there exists an enormous body of data on stress-induced alterations of 5-HT activity, there has not been extensive exploration of 5-HT adaptations occurring presynaptically or at the level of the raphe nuclei after exposure to CUS. Similarly, although hippocampal neurogenesis is known to be negatively regulated by stress and positively regulated by antidepressant treatment, the role of neurogenesis in mediating affective behaviour in the context of stress remains an active area of investigation. The goal of this review is to link the serotonergic and neurogenic hypotheses of depression and antidepressant effects in the context of stress. Specifically, chronic stress significantly attenuates 5-HT neurotransmission and 5-HT1A autoreceptor sensitivity, and this effect could represent an endophenotypic hallmark for mood disorders. In addition, by decreasing neurogenesis, CUS decreases hippocampal inhibition of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, exacerbating stress axis overactivity. Similarly, we discuss the possibility that adult hippocampal neurogenesis mediates antidepressant effects via the ventral (in rodents; anterior in humans) hippocampus' influence on the HPA axis, and mechanisms by which antidepressants may reverse chronic stress-induced 5-HT and neurogenic changes. Although data are as yet equivocal, antidepressant modulation of 5-HT neurotransmission may well serve as one of the factors that could drive neurogenesis-dependent antidepressant effects through these stress regulation-related mechanisms. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

                Author and article information

                Evid Based Complement Alternat Med
                Evid Based Complement Alternat Med
                Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine : eCAM
                23 December 2019
                23 December 2019
                : 2019
                1School of Acupuncture-Moxibustion and Tuina, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing 100029, China
                2Inner Mongolia People's Hospital, Hohhot, Inner Mongolia 010010, China
                3School of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing 102488, China
                4Inner Mongolia International Mongolian Hospital, Hohhot, Inner Mongolia 010065, China
                5School of Acupuncture-Moxibustion and Tuina, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine Dongfang College, Langfang 065001, China
                Author notes

                Academic Editor: Olumayokun A. Olajide

                Copyright © 2019 Jun Zhao et al.

                This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Funded by: National Natural Science Foundation of China
                Award ID: 81760909
                Research Article

                Complementary & Alternative medicine


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