Electro-acupuncture attenuates the mice premature ovarian failure via mediating PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway.


Key Laboratory of Modern Acoustics (MOE), Department of Physics, Collaborative Innovation Center of Advanced Microstructure, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, China.. Electronic address: [Email]


OBJECTIVE : Electro-acupuncture (EA) is frequently recommended as a complementary therapy for premature ovarian failure (POF) in the clinical. However, little information exists about its potential treatment mechanisms. The study was designed to observe the effect of EA to ovarian function and fertility in POF mice model, and investigated its potential mechanisms on PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling pathway.
METHODS : Forty-five female C57/BL6 mice were divided into the Control, the Model and the EA group. The ovaries morphology of mice was observed by hematoxylin and eosin (HE) staining, and all follicles were counted under microscope. The protein expression of PI3K, phospho-PI3K, AKT, phospho-AKT, mTOR, phospho-mTOR, S6, phospho-S6, 4E-BP1 and phospho-4E-BP1 were detected by western blotting. The data was presented as the ratio of phosphorylation protein to total protein. Serum follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), estradiol (E2) and anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH) levels were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The fertility was observed by giving treated mice 8 weeks for breeding.
RESULTS : We found that primordial follicle counts were increased in EA group compared to Model group. The phosphorylation of PI3K, AKT, mTOR, 4E-BP1 and S6K in EA group significantly reduced compared to Model group. Serum FSH and LH levels in EA group were decreased compared to Model group, while, serum E2 and AMH levels in EA group were increased compared with Model group. The litter size in EA group was improved compared to Model group.
CONCLUSIONS : The effects of EA on the PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling pathway may represent one of the mechanisms involved in attenuating the mice POF.


Cell signaling,Electro-acupuncture,Fertility,Ovarian reserve,Premature ovarian failure (POF),