Electroacupuncture reduces neuroinflammatory responses in symptomatic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis model.
J Neuroimmunol. 2010 Jun ;223(1-2):84-91. Epub 2010 May 10. PMID: 20460191
Eun Jin Yang
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a paralyzing disorder that is characterized by the progressive degeneration and death of motor neurons. Acupuncture or electroacupuncture (EA) has been used for the treatment of various conditions including osteoarthritis, asthma, and other types of chronic pain conditions. It has been hypothesized that acupuncture exerts anti-inflammatory and anti-nociceptive effects on inflammatory reactions processes. The purpose of this study was to determine whether acupuncture at a specific acupoint could produce anti-inflammatory responses and suppress motor neuron loss in the hG93ASOD1 mouse, commonly used as a model for inherited ALS. We delivered EA at the Zusanli (ST36) acupuncture point in the symptomatic hSOD1G93A animal model. The EA-treated mutant hSOD1 transgenic mice showed decreases in microglial cell activity and TNF-alpha expression in the spinal cord and brain stem. Furthermore, EA significantly improved motor activity compared to the control group and reduced neuronal cell loss in hSOD1G93A mice. Our research suggests a potential functional link between EA therapy and anti-neuroinflammatory response in an ALS animal model.