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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 850512, 14 pages
Research Article

Proteomic Analysis Reveals the Deregulation of Inflammation-Related Proteins in Acupuncture-Treated Rats with Asthma Onset

1Molecular Biology Laboratory, Shanghai Research Institute of Acupuncture and Meridian, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 200030, China
2Yue Yang Hospital, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 200437, China

Received 29 June 2012; Revised 16 September 2012; Accepted 17 September 2012

Academic Editor: Alvin J. Beitz

Copyright © 2012 Yu-Dong Xu 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.


Although the beneficial effects of acupuncture in asthma treatment have been well documented, little is known regarding the biological basis of this treatment. Changes in the lung proteome of acupuncture-treated rats with asthma onset were comparatively analyzed using a two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2DE) and mass-spectrometry- (MS-) based proteomic approach. Acupuncture on specific acupuncture points appeared to improve respiratory function and reduce the total number of leukocytes and eosinophils in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid in OVA-induced asthma onset. Image analysis of 2DE gels revealed 32 differentially expressed acupuncture-specific protein spots in asthma onset; 30 of which were successfully identified as 28 unique proteins using LC-MS/MS. Bioinformatic analyses indicated that these altered proteins are most likely involved in inflammation-related biological functions, and the functional associations of these proteins result in an inflammation signaling pathway. Acupuncture regulates the pathway at different levels by regulating several key nodal proteins, including downregulating of proinflammatory proteins (e.g., S100A8, RAGE, and S100A11) and upregulating of anti-inflammatory proteins (e.g., CC10, ANXA5, and sRAGE). These deregulated inflammation-related proteins may mediate, at least in part, the antiasthmatic effect of acupuncture. Further functional investigation of these acupuncture-specific effector proteins could identify new drug candidates for the prophylaxis and treatment of asthma.