Acupuncture reduces immune-mediated pulmonary inflammatory lesions induced in rats

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Katsuya, Elizabeth Marie [UNIFESP]
Pedreira de Castro, Maria Alice [UNIFESP]
Carneiro, Celia Regina Whitaker [UNIFESP]
Yamamura, Ysao [UNIFESP]
Silveira, Vera Lucia Flor [UNIFESP]
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Introduction: the aim of this report was to experimentally demonstrate the biological actions of acupuncture in an animal model of immune-mediated inflammation associated with a deposition of collagen. Materials and Methods: Male Wistar rats were sensitized by a subcutaneous implant of heat-solidified hen egg-white and divided into 4 groups: acupuncture, sham acupuncture, immobilized, and control. Acupuncture was initiated the day after sensitization and repeated twice a week for 3 weeks. the dorsal acupoints chosen were GV-14 and BL-13, the ventral acupuncture points were LU-1, CV-17, ST-36 and SP-6. the dorsal points were stimulated manually and the ventral ones by electroacupuncture. On day 14, animals were challenged through the tail vein with Sepharose (R) beads coupled with ovalbumin. One week later, animals were bled, plasma corticosterone concentrations were measured and the lungs were removed for histological evaluation. Results: Measurement of the areas of pulmonary lesion on hematoxylin-eosin stained slides showed a significant decrease (p < 0.05) in the inflammatory infiltrate in the acupuncture group, compared to the other 3 groups. Utilization of Litt and Picrosirius staining methods, in order to better visualize the infiltrate of eosinophils and the deposition of collagen, respectively, showed that both were much less intense in the acupuncture group. Corticosterone plasma levels were similar in all groups. Conclusion: Point-specific acupuncture treatment effectively reduced the inflammatory process and the deposition of collagen around ovalbumin-Sepharose beads intravenously embolized to the lungs of rats previously sensitized with the same protein that was administered subcutaneously.
Forschende Komplementarmedizin. Basel: Karger, v. 16, n. 6, p. 413-416, 2009.