Objective: To observe the effects of electroacupuncture (EA) on body weight, insulin resistance (IR) and hypothalamic insulin signal molecule in rats with diet-induced obesity (DIO), and to explore the action mechanism of EA on DIO.
Methods: Fifty SD male rats were randomly divided into a low fat diet (LFD) group (10 rats) and a high fat diet (HFD) group (40 rats). Rats were fed with LFD and HFD, respectively, and the DIO model was established in the HFD group. After the model was established, the rats were randomly divided intoa model group, an EA group and a medication group, ten rats in each one. The rats in the EA group were treated with EA at "Housanli" (ST 36) and "Quchi" (LI 11) for 20 min, once a day for totally 28 days. The rats in the medication group were treated with intragastric administration of orlistat, once a day for 28 days. The rats in the LFD group and model group received no treatment. After treatment, HE staining method was applied to observe the morphological changes of liver; the biochemistry technique and radioimmunoassay method were applied to detect the fasting plasma glucose (FPG) and fasting insulin (FINS); Western blot method was applied to measure the expression of phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase p85 subunit (PI3K-p85) and insulin receptor substrate 2 (IRS2).
Results: Under light microscope, compared with the model group, the fatty degenerative cells were below 1/2 in the EA group and the medication group, accompanied with decreased lipid droplet, mild edema and none inflammatory infiltration. The body weight, FPG, FINS, homeostasis model assessment-insulin resistance index (HOMA-IR) and PI3K-p85 in the EA group were significantly lower than those in the model group (P<0.01, P<0.05), but the expression of IRS2 was not significantly different from the model group (P>0.05). The body weight, HOMA-IR and PI3K-p85 in the medication group were lower than those in the model group (P<0.01, P<0.05), but the expression of IRS2 was higher than that in the model group (P<0.05). The differences of each index were not significant between the EA group and the medication group (all P>0.05). In addition, rats in the medication group showed watery defecation, decreased activity, fatigue mentality and yellow hairs, while rats in the EA group showed normal defecation and vivid hair.
Conclusions: EA can decrease the expression of PI3K-p85 to prompt the IR of DIO rats, inhibit the weight body and improve hepatic steatosis, which is probably one of the action mechanisms of EA on DIO. Besides, the adverse effects as the medication group can be avoided.
Keywords: body weight; diet-induced obesity (DIO); electroacupuncture (EA); insulin resistance (IR); phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase p85 subunit (PI3K-p85).
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