Premature ovarian failure is the leading cause of female infertility, and there is no optimal treatment or medication available currently. For premature ovarian failure, electroacupuncture has been considered a promising therapeutic approach, but the mechanism for this is not clear.
In this study, we explored the effects of electroacupuncture (CV4, ST36, and SP6) on oxidative stress and intestinal microbiota of high-fat and high-sugar- (HFHS-) induced premature ovarian failure mice. The development of mice follicles was observed by hematoxylin and eosin (HE) staining. The serum levels of estrone (E1), estrogen (E2), estriol (E3), and 21-deoxycortisol (21D) were measured by the HPLC-MS/MS method. The concentrations of Fe2+, superoxide dismutase (SOD), hydroxyl radical (·OH), glutathione (GSH), superoxide anion, and malondialdehyde (MDA) were measured by spectrophotometry.
The 16S-rDNA sequencing was used to measure many parameters related to the host gut bacteriome and mycobiome composition, relative abundance, and diversity. mRNA expression levels of ferroptosis-related genes were determined by RT-qPCR. After 4 weeks of electroacupuncture intervention in premature ovarian failure mice, mature follicles were increased and the levels of the sex hormone were improved. SOD activities, antisuperoxide activities, and GSH increased while MDA, ·OH, and Fe2+ decreased. In addition, electroacupuncture also altered the intestinal microbiota.
These results reveal that electroacupuncture can effectively inhibit ovarian oxidative stress and the accumulation of Fe2+ in premature ovarian failure mice. It may be that the alteration in the intestinal microbiota is one of the potential mechanisms of electroacupuncture treatment. These findings suggest that electroacupuncture has clinical potential as a safe treatment for premature ovarian failure.