Kokosar M, Benrick A, Perfilyev A, Nilsson E, Källman T, Ohlsson C, Ling C, Stener-Victorin E
Sci Rep 8 (1) 1878 [2018-01-30; online 2018-01-30]
A single bout of electroacupuncture results in muscle contractions and increased whole body glucose uptake in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Women with PCOS have transcriptional and epigenetic alterations in the adipose tissue and we hypothesized that electroacupuncture induces epigenetic and transcriptional changes to restore metabolic alterations. Twenty-one women with PCOS received a single bout of electroacupuncture, which increased the whole body glucose uptake. In subcutaneous adipose tissue biopsies, we identified treatment-induced expression changes of 2369 genes (Q < 0.05) and DNA methylation changes of 7055 individual genes (Q = 0.11). The largest increase in expression was observed for FOSB (2405%), and the largest decrease for LOC100128899 (54%). The most enriched pathways included Acute phase response signaling and LXR/RXR activation. The DNA methylation changes ranged from 1-16%, and 407 methylation sites correlated with gene expression. Among genes known to be differentially expressed in PCOS, electroacupuncture reversed the expression of 80 genes, including PPARγ and ADIPOR2. Changes in the expression of Nr4a2 and Junb are reversed by adrenergic blockers in rats demonstrating that changes in gene expression, in part, is due to activation of the sympathetic nervous system. In conclusion, low-frequency electroacupuncture with muscle contractions remodels epigenetic and transcriptional changes that elicit metabolic improvement.