Recovery of hippocampal functions and modulation of muscarinic response by electroacupuncture in young diabetic rats

Marzia Soligo, Sonia Piccinin, Virginia Protto, Francesca Gelfo, Maria Egle De Stefano, Fulvio Florenzano, Erica Berretta, Laura Petrosini, Robert Nisticò, Luigi Manni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The muscarinic receptor response to acetylcholine regulates the hippocampal-related learning, memory, neural plasticity and the production and processing of the pro-nerve growth factor (proNGF) by hippocampal cells. The development and progression of diabetes generate a mild cognitive impairment reducing the functions of the septo-hippocampal cholinergic circuitry, depressing neural plasticity and inducing proNGF accumulation in the brain. Here we demonstrate, in a rat model of early type-1 diabetes, that a physical therapy, the electroacupuncture, counteracts the diabetes-induced deleterious effects on hippocampal physiology by ameliorating hippocampal-related memory functions; recovering the impaired long-term potentiation at the dentate gyrus (DG-LTP) and the lowered expression of the vesicular glutamate transporter 1; normalizing the activity-dependent release of proNGF in diabetic rat hippocampus. Electroacupuncture exerted its therapeutic effects by regulating the expression and activity of M1- and M2-acetylcholine muscarinic receptors subtypes in the dentate gyrus of hippocampus. Our results suggest that a physical therapy based on repetitive sensory stimulation could promote hippocampal neural activity, neuronal metabolism and functions, and conceivably improve the diabetes-induced cognitive impairment. Our data can support the setup of therapeutic protocols based on a better integration between physical therapies and pharmacology for the cure of diabetes-associated neurodegeneration and possibly for Alzheimer's disease.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9077
JournalScientific Reports
Volume7
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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    Soligo, M., Piccinin, S., Protto, V., Gelfo, F., De Stefano, M. E., Florenzano, F., Berretta, E., Petrosini, L., Nisticò, R., & Manni, L. (2017). Recovery of hippocampal functions and modulation of muscarinic response by electroacupuncture in young diabetic rats. Scientific Reports, 7(1), [9077]. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-08556-z