Acupuncture benefits the immune system
Researchers at Hubei University of Chinese Medicine have discovered that electro acupuncture stimulation of acupuncture point ST36 (Zusanli) “enhances the level of immune cytokines and splenic CD4+ T cells through TRPV channels”. In addition the researchers document that electro acupuncture applied to ST36 enhances serum interferon-y (IFN-y) levels, interleukin (IL)-2, and IL-17. Results were confirmed using immunohistochemical analysis.
The research measured the effects of electro acupuncture and precisely identified that electro acupuncture at ST36 enhances cytones, which are proteins secreted by cells that have a specific effect on the interactions and communications between cells. The research reveals the role of electro acupuncture (2-15 Hz) in the enhancement of CD4+ T cells through TRPV channels, indicating an important pathway of acupuncture’s effective action. The researchers add “These results proved that the rise in the intracellular Ca2+ induced by electro acupuncture at the ST36 acupoint was responsible for the differentiation, proliferation and activation of splenic CD4+ T cells. The research team notes that the investigation was prompted by results from prior investigations finding acupuncture effective in the treatment of stress induced immunodeficiency. The researchers used modern techniques to measure the effects of electro acupuncture. Flow cytometry was used to measure the Ca2+ concentration of spleen cells. Immunofluorescence was integral to the immunohistochemical analysis. Ultrasonication was required for homogenates and an “ELISA assay was used to assess the IFN-y, IL-2 and IL-17 levels in the serum and extracts from the ST36 acupoint area.”
/Extract from an article ; Acupuncture Immune System Discovery/