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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 340126, 8 pages
Research Article

Acupuncture Attenuated Inflammation and Inhibited Th17 and Treg Activity in Experimental Asthma

1Department of Integrative Medicine, Huashan Hospital, Fudan University, 12 Middle Urumqi Road, Shanghai 200040, China
2Institute of Integrated Traditional Chinese and Western Medicine, Fudan University, 12 Middle Urumqi Road, Shanghai 200040, China
3Gumei Community Health Center, 668 Longming Road, Shanghai 201102, China

Received 22 July 2015; Accepted 21 September 2015

Academic Editor: Kamal D. Moudgil

Copyright © 2015 Ying Wei 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 is an effective therapeutic method in asthma treatment in traditional Chinese medicine. Here, we evaluated the effect of acupuncture on airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) and the associated inflammatory changes as well as Th17 and Treg activity in ovalbumin- (OVA-) induced experimental asthma. Our results revealed that acupuncture treatment significantly inhibited AHR, lung inflammation, and mucus secretion of experimental asthma mice. Furthermore, a decrease in lymphocytes and eosinophils as well as neutrophils was observed in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) of mice treated with acupuncture. Acupuncture reduced the OVA specific IgE level as well as the Th17 cytokine levels including IL-17A, IL-17F, and IL-22 in the serum of the experimental asthma mice. Acupuncture treatment group also had reduced CD4+IL-17A+ cell numbers and increased CD4+Foxp3+ cell numbers in BALF. In addition, acupuncture could inhibit IL-17R, RORγt, p65, and the inhibitor of NF-κB kinase-α (IKKα) protein expression. Our results indicated that acupuncture was effective in inhibiting AHR and inflammation in OVA-induced experimental asthma, which may be associated with the regulation of Th17 and Treg activity and NF-κB pathway.