Mediators, Receptors, and Signalling Pathways in the Anti-Inflammatory and Antihyperalgesic Effects of Acupuncture
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Acupuncture has been used for millennia to treat allergic diseases including both intermittent rhinitis and persistent rhinitis. Besides the research on the efficacy and safety of acupuncture treatment for allergic rhinitis, research has also investigated how acupuncture might modulate immune function to exert anti-inflammatory effects. A proposed model has previously hypothesized that acupuncture might downregulate proinflammatory neuropeptides, proinflammatory cytokines, and neurotrophins, modulating transient receptor potential vallinoid (TRPV1), a G-protein coupled receptor which plays a central role in allergic rhinitis. Recent research has been largely supportive of this model. New advances in research include the discovery of a novel cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway activated by acupuncture. A chemokine-mediated proliferation of opioid-containing macrophages in inflamed tissues, in response to acupuncture, has also been demonstrated for the first time. Further research on the complex cross talk between receptors during inflammation is also helping to elucidate the mediators and signalling pathways activated by acupuncture.
Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine
Copyright 2015 John L. McDonald 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.
Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified