Anti-inflammatory effects of electroacupuncture in the respiratory system of a symptomatic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis animal model.

Department of Standard Research, Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine, Daejeon, Korea.Jiang JH, Yang EJ, Baek MG, Kim SH, Lee SM,

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Because amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive inflammatory disease, treatment of the pulmonary system plays a key role in ALS patients’ care. Previous studies have mainly examined the pathological mechanism of ALS in the central nervous system; however, there has been relatively little research regarding the pulmonary system in ALS animal models. In inflammatory diseases, including asthma and arthritis, electroacupuncture (EA) is commonly used for its anti-inflammatory effects. The goal of this study was to determine whether EA treatment affects inflammation in the pulmonary system in an ALS animal model.

METHODS:

EA treatment at ST36 (Zusanli) acupoint was performed with 14-week-old hSOD1(G93A) transgenic mice. (details were then given of the Western blot for certain biomarkers, please go to the abstract for details.)

RESULTS:

EA treatment decreased the expression of the proinflammatory proteins such as TNF-α and IL-6, pNF-κB, and Iba-1 and increased the level of activated pAKT and pERK compared to control hSOD1(G93A) mice.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our findings suggest that EA could be an effective anti-inflammatory treatment for the respiratory impairment that occurs in ALS animal models.

I reported in an earlier post about Dr. Hiramitsu’s study at the ISAMS conference on electroacupuncture at Ming Men in arthritic mice showing decreased inflammation. This was remarkable to me because of the fact that the electroacupuncture was not at the joint itself. Now in this study, we see the same phenomenon, of electroacupuncture at Stomach 36 causing decreased levels of proinflammatory biomarkers.

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