Acupuncture upregulates G protein coupled activity in SAMP8 mice

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Transmembrane and intracellular signal transduction of G protein is closely related to the pathophysiology of Alzheimer's disease (AD).


To explore the effects of Sanjiao acupuncture on G protein signal transduction pathways in the pathogenesis of AD.


36 senescence-accelerated (SAM) prone 8 mice were divided into three groups that remained untreated (SAMP8, n=12) or received Sanjiao acupuncture (SAMP8+SA, n=12) or control acupuncture (SAMP8+CA, n=12). An additional control group of SAM resistant 1 mice was included (SAMR1 group, n=12). Morris water maze tests were used to investigate learning and memory abilities. Immunoprecipitation and Western blotting were used to study expression of G protein subunits and their activities in the cortex/hippocampus.


Behavioural analysis showed that acupuncture attenuated the severe cognitive deficits observed in untreated/CA-treated SAMP8 mice. The findings of the G protein activation assays via immunoprecipitation and Western blots were that the physiologically coupled activation rate (PCAR) and maximal coupled activation rate (MCAR) of Gαs and Gαi were decreased in the cortex of SAMP8 vs SAMR1 mice. Sanjiao acupuncture induced an upregulation in the PCAR of Gαs and Gαi. In the hippocampus of untreated SAMP8 mice, the PCAR of Gαs and MCAR of both Gαs and Gαi declined, and Sanjiao acupuncture was associated with an upregulation in the MCAR of Gαs and Gαi. There were no significant differences in Gαs and Gαi expression between the groups.


Sanjiao acupuncture attenuates cognitive deficits in a mouse model of AD via upregulation of G protein activity and stabilisation of the cellular signal.

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