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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 678390, 12 pages
Research Article

Effects of Acupuncture on CCL2 and CXCL8 Expression and the Subset of uNK Cells in Rats with Embryo Implantation Failure

Institute of Integrated Traditional Chinese and Western Medicine, Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, Hubei 430030, China

Received 19 May 2013; Accepted 5 November 2013

Academic Editor: Sven Schröder

Copyright © 2013 Weina Gao 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.


The present study was designed to investigate the efficacy and mechanism of acupuncture treatment on embryo implantation failure in rats. The pregnant rats were randomized into normal group (N), implantation failure group (M), acupuncture treatment group (A), and progestin treatment group (W). The embryo implantation failure model was established by mifepristone. Efficacy of acupuncture treatment was evaluated by the number of implanted embryos. The expression of CCL2 and CXCL8 and the subset of uterine natural killer cells in the endometrium were detected. We demonstrated that the number of implanted embryos was dramatically reduced after mifepristone (M group) treatment, while the acupuncture (A group) and progestin (W group) treatments significantly rescued impaired embryo implantation. The protein and mRNA expressions of CCL2 and CXCL8 were significantly reduced by mifepristone treatment, but the attenuated expression of CCL2 and CXCL8 was markedly reversed by acupuncture or progestin treatment. More importantly, acupuncture and progestin could markedly increase the subset of uNK cells in rats with embryo implantation failure. These evidences suggest that acupuncture is able to modulate the endometrial immune microenvironment and thus improve embryo implantation in pregnant rats, which provides solid experimental evidence for the curative effect of acupuncture treatment on infertility.