You-jiang Min, Hai-hua Yao, Li Wang, Li-hong Cheng, En-si Hong
Background and aim: According to TCM theory, the kidney-yang is the basis of human functional activities, and the elderly will appear insufficient kidney-yang. Moxibustion is an effective treatment for KYDS, but the exact mechanism remains to be fully elucidated. This research aims to investigate the effects of moxibustion on the hippocampal-HPA axis in aged rats and to elucidate the possible molecular mechanisms.
Method: Thirty-six old male rats were randomly divided into Old Rats Control Group (ORC), moxibustion group (moxi) and Carbenoxolone Group (CBX), and 12 adult rats were included in the young rats control group (YRC), with 12 rats in each group. Rats in the moxi group were received moxibustion and rats in the CBX group were received CBX injection. After treatment, the serum levels of CORT, ACTH and CRH, and the expressions of MR, GR and 11β-HSD1 in rats’ hippocampus were assessed.
Results and conclusion: Before treatment, the serum level of CRH, ACTH and CORT, and the expressions of MR, GR and 11β-HSD1 in hippocampus of rats in the ORC group were all significant lower than those of rats in the YRC group (P<0.01). After treatment with moxibustion, all the afore mentioned observation indices of rats were significant higher than those of rats in the ORC group (P<0.05 or 0.01). Moxibustion can improve the serum levels of ACTH, CRH and CORT, and can up-regulate mRNA and protein expressions of MR, GR and 11β-HSD1 in the hippocampus of aged rats.