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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 464586, 10 pages
Research Article

Therapeutic Effects of Acupuncture through Enhancement of Functional Angiogenesis and Granulogenesis in Rat Wound Healing

1Institute of Catholic Integrative Medicine (ICIM), Incheon St. Mary's Hospital, The Catholic University of Korea, Incheon 403-720, Republic of Korea
2Department of Radiology, Incheon St. Mary’s Hospital, The Catholic University of Korea, Incheon, Republic of Korea
3Chicago Medical School, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, North Chicago, USA
4Department of Radiology, St. Mary’s Hospital, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Republic of Korea

Received 27 July 2012; Revised 8 November 2012; Accepted 14 November 2012

Academic Editor: Wolfgang Schwarz

Copyright © 2012 Sang In Park et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Acupuncture regulates inflammation process and growth factors by increasing blood circulation in affected areas. In this study, we examined whether acupuncture has an effect on wound healing in injured rat. Rats were assigned randomly into two groups: control group and acupuncture group. Acupuncture treatment was carried out at 8 sites around the wounded area. We analyzed the wound area, inflammatory cytokines, proliferation of resident cells, and angiogenesis and induction of extracelluar matrix remodeling. At 7 days after-wounding the wound size in acupuncture-treat group was decreased more significantly compared to control group. In addition, the protein levels of proinflammatory cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and interleukin-1β (IL-1β) were significantly decreased compared to the control at 2 and 7 days post-wounding. Also, we analyzed newly generated cells by performing immunostaining for PCNA and using several phenotype markers such as CD-31, α-SMA, and collagen type I. In acupuncture-treated group, PCNA-positive cell was increased and PCNA labeled CD-31-positive vessels, α-SMA- and collagen type I-positive fibroblastic cells, were increased compared to the control group at 7 days post-wounding. These results suggest that acupuncture may improve wound healing through decreasing pro-inflammatory response, increasing cell proliferation and angiogenesis, and inducing extracellular matrix remodeling.