Points - Recent Research
Electroacupuncture Exerts Anti-Inflammatory Effects in Cerebral Ischemia-Reperfusion Injured Rats
Amantadine and the Place of Acupuncture in the Treatment of Fatigue in Patients with Multiple Sclerosis
Fuzheng Huayu Inhibits Carbon Tetrachloride-Induced Liver Fibrosis in Mice through Activating Hepatic NK Cells

Electroacupuncture Exerts Anti-Inflammatory Effects in Cerebral Ischemia-Reperfusion Injured Rats

Lan L, et al. College of Rehabilitation Medicine, Fujian University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Fuzhou, Fujian 350122, P.R. China.

Inflammatory response has been shown to play a critical role in brain damage after cerebral ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) injury, which is tightly regulated by the Toll-like receptor (TLR)4/nuclear factor (NF)-κB pathway; therefore, suppression of TLR4/NF-κB signaling has become a promising target for the anti-inflammatory treatment in ischemic stroke. Acupuncture has been used as a complementary and alternative therapy practice that supplements conventional medicine. Numerous studies have demonstrated the clinical efficacy of acupuncture in stroke rehabilitation. However, the precise mechanism of its neuroprotective effect remains poorly understood. Using a focal cerebral I/R injured rat model, in the present study we evaluated the neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory activities of electroacupuncture at Quchi and Zusanli, and investigated the underlying molecular mechanisms. We found that electroacupuncture at Quchi (LI11) and Zusanli (ST36) acupoints significantly improved the ischemia-associated scores of neurological deficits, reduced cerebral infarction and alleviated inflammatory responses. Moreover, the crucial signaling molecules in the TLR4/NF-κB signaling pathway were regulated by acupuncture, which coincided with suppressed secretion levels of inflammatory cytokines such as TNF-α, IL-1β and IL-6. Our data suggest that electroacupuncture exerts a neuroprotective function in ischemic stroke through inhibition of TLR4/NF-κB-mediated inflammation.

Int J Mol Med.2012 Nov 16. doi: 10.3892/ijmm.2012.1184.

Source: PubMed


Amantadine and the Place of Acupuncture in the Treatment of Fatigue in Patients with Multiple Sclerosis

Foroughipour M, et al. Department of Neurology, School of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.

BACKGROUND: Fatigue is a common symptom in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). It has significant negative effects on the quality of life of patients with the condition. There are few therapeutic modalities for fatigue, which are also usually not sufficiently effective. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of acupuncture on this common symptom of patients with MS. METHODS: In this before-and-after clinical trial, 40 patients with definite diagnoses of MS, according to the 'McDonald' criteria, were studied. Patients who had Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) scores greater than 4, or who had another disease that could be potentially responsible for their fatigue, were excluded from the study. In all, 20 patients with fatigue refractory to amantadine underwent 12 sessions of acupuncture. Fatigue was scored according to the Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS). RESULTS: A total of 15 (37.5%) patients with MS with fatigue responded to amantadine. The mean FSS score reduction after 2 months of treatment was 84, which was statistically significant (p<0.001). Of the 20 patients who were resistant to amantadine, 5 (25%) responded to acupuncture combined with amantadine treatment. The FSS scores of the 20 patients who were refractory were significantly reduced after this treatment (mean: 136, p<0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Acupuncture appears to be associated with benefits for a proportion of patients with fatigue who are resistant to conventional drugs such as amantadine, and this finding justifies further research.

Acupunct Med.2012 Nov 14.

Source: PubMed


Fuzheng Huayu Inhibits Carbon Tetrachloride-Induced Liver Fibrosis in Mice through Activating Hepatic NK Cells

Cheng Q, et al. Department of Infectious Diseases, Huashan Hospital of Fudan University, Shanghai 200040, China.

AIM OF THE STUDY: Fuzheng Huayu (FZHY) is a Chinese compound herbal preparation which consists of six Chinese herbs. This study examines the preventative effects of FZHY on liver fibrosis induced by carbon tetrachloride (CCl(4)) and explores its possible mechanisms of action. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Liver fibrosis was induced in male C57BL/6N mice by injecting a 10% CCl(4) solution intraperitoneal twice a week for six weeks. After 6 weeks of treatment, serum ALT and AST assay, liver tissue histological examination and immunostaining were carried out to examine the liver function and fibrosis degree. The expression levels of alpha-smooth muscle actin (SMA) were measured by quantitative real-time PCR and western blot. Hepatic natural killer (NK) cells were isolated from liver and evaluated by FACS. RESULTS: Upon pathological examination, the FZHY-treated mice showed significantly reduced liver damage. The expression of α-SMA increased markedly upon treatment with CCl(4) and the increase was reversed by FZHY treatment. FZHY treatment also enhanced the activation of hepatic NK cells and the production of interferon-gamma (IFN-γ). The protective effects of FZHY were reversed in the mice that were depleted of NK cells by anti-ASGM-1 Ab treatment. CONCLUSIONS: FZHY can efficiently inhibit CCl(4)-induced liver fibrosis. Furthermore, the depletion of NK cells attenuates the protective effects of FZHY. We conclude that FZHY could be an effective drug for liver fibrosis, and its mechanism of action involves the activation of hepatic NK cells.

J Ethnopharmacol.2012 Nov 2. pii: S0378-8741(12)00744-1. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2012.10.047.

Source: PubMed


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