Secretagogin Mediates the Regulatory Effect of Electroacupuncture on Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis Dysfunction in Surgical Trauma.


Zhang M(1), Sun J(1), Wang Y(1), Tian Z(1).
Author information:
(1)Department of Integrative Medicine and Neurobiology, School of Basic Medical Sciences, State Key Laboratory of Medical Neurobiology, Institutes of Brain Science, Institute of Acupuncture Research, WHO Collaborating Center for Traditional Medicine, Academy of Integrative Medicine, Fudan University, Shanghai, China.


Electroacupuncture (EA) improves hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis disorder by reducing corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) synthesis and release in the paraventricular nucleus (PVN). However, the potential mechanism underlying CRH regulation remains unclear. Secretagogin (SCGN) is closely related to stress and is involved in regulating the release of CRH. We hypothesized that SCGN in the PVN might trigger the HPA system and be involved in EA-mediated modulation of HPA dysfunction caused by surgical trauma. Serum CRH and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and plasma corticosterone (CORT) levels at 6 h and 24 h after hepatectomy were determined by radioimmunoassay. CRH and SCGN protein levels in the PVN were detected by western blot and immunofluorescence, and CRH and SCGN mRNA levels in the PVN were determined by means of real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and in situ hybridization (ISH). Our studies showed that serum CRH, ACTH, and CORT levels and PVN CRH expression were significantly increased at 6 h and 24 h after hepatectomy in the hepatectomy group compared with the control group, and those in the EA+hepatectomy group were decreased compared with those in the hepatectomy group. The protein and mRNA levels of SCGN in the PVN were also increased after hepatectomy, and their expression in the EA+hepatectomy group was decreased compared with that in the hepatectomy group. When SCGN expression in the PVN was functionally knocked down by a constructed CsCI virus, we found that SCGN knockdown decreased the serum CRH, ACTH, and CORT levels in the SCGN shRNA+hepatectomy group compared with the hepatectomy group, and it also attenuated CRH expression in the PVN. In summary, our findings illustrated that EA normalized HPA axis dysfunction after surgical trauma by decreasing the transcription and synthesis of SCGN.