Ischemic stroke is the most prevalent and one of the leading causes of world death. The interruption in blood supply results in local depletion of oxygen and glucose in brain tissue, followed by a cascade of events that accentuate neuronal death via tissue infarction and evoke irreversible neuronal damage. Using animal models of ischemia the efficacy of complementary techniques can be tested for post-stroke rehabilitation. Recently in our laboratory treadmill exercise has availed from the concomitant use with nicotine, improving the motor performance of ischemic animals. Thus, this work intends to advance the knowledge related to the capability of acupuncture to interfere with the mechanism of action of nicotine by behavioral and motor analysis in ischemic Gerbils. Will be used 56 Gerbils weighing between 65 and 80 g, randomly divided into 7 groups (n = 8): sham saline group, saline ischemia group, nicotine ischemia group, sham ischemia acupuncture with saline group, sham ischemia acupuncture with nicotine group, ischemia acupuncture with saline group and ischemia acupuncture with nicotine group. In the acupuncture groups, the animals will have the acupoints ST36, and SP9 manually stimulated for 20 minutes. Nicotine will be injected intraperitoneally at the dose of 2mg/kg. All animals, before the experiments, will be habituated to the previous 72 hours in the Rotarod (RR) and the activity cage (AC). After the experimental surgery to ischemia induction, the animals will be conditioned in the experimental animal room until the evaluation in the AC and RR that will happen in the 5-day post surgery. Behavioral data will be analyzed by applying two-way ANOVA followed by Holm-Sidak post hoc test, and a significance level of p <0.05 will be adopted. Ischemic animals treated with nicotine and stimulated with acupuncture show better behavioral performance in the AC and motor performance in RR.
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