Figure 4: Schematic model of electroacupuncture on insulin resistance in skeletal muscle. SIRT1-mediated deacetylation of PGC1α is required to activate genes that are associated with mitochondrial fatty acid oxidation in response to energy demands. The resultant increase in expression of mitochondrial genes, including NRF1, could exert positive effects on insulin signaling. eNOS: endothelial nitric oxide synthase; PGC1α: peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ coactivator 1α; SIRT1: Sirtuin 1; NRF1: nuclear respiratory factor 1.
This study suggested a preliminary mechanism of electroacupuncture. Specifically, low-frequency EA improved insulin sensitivity in a mouse model of genetic insulin resistance and diabetes, at least in part, via stimulation of SIRT1/PGC-1α in the skeletal muscle. Events involved in this mechanism are presented in Figure 4. This effect leads to a net switch in the metabolic program of the organism to an adaptation that may be of benefit in the face of disorders characterized by insulin resistance. The study introduces an effective and safe activator (electroacupuncture) for SIRT1, offering a basis for applying acupuncture in clinical practice in the treatment of diseases related to insulin resistance.
Low-Frequency Electroacupuncture Improves Insulin Sensitivity in Obese Diabetic Mice through Activation of SIRT1/PGC-1α in Skeletal Muscle
Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine