Mesenchymal stem cell transplantation is a novel means of treating cerebral ischemia/reperfusion, and can promote angiogenesis and neurological functional recovery.
Acupuncture at Conception and Governor vessels also has positive effects as a treatment for cerebral ischemia/reperfusion. Therefore, Prof. Haibo Yu and co-workers from Affiliated Shenzhen Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital, Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine in China hypothesized that electro-acupuncture at Conception and Governor vessels plus mesenchymal stem cell transplantation may have better therapeutic effects on the promotion of angiogenesis and recovery of neurological function than either treatment alone.
In their study reported in Neural Regeneration Research (Vol. 9, No. 1, 2014), human umbilical cord blood-derived mesenchymal stem cells (HUCB-MSCs) were isolated, cultured and transplanted into the brains of cerebral ischemia/reperfusion rats. Electro-acupuncture was also applied. The researchers found that the combined intervention provided a better outcome than mesenchymal stem cell transplantation alone, demonstrating that electro-acupuncture at Conception and Governor vessels and mesenchymal stem cell transplantation have synergetic effects on promoting neurological function recovery and angiogenesis in rats after cerebral ischemia/reperfusion.