Acupuncture combined with curcumin attenuates carbon tetrachloride-induced hepatic fibrosis in rats.
ABSTRACT Increasingly, studies demonstrate the effectiveness of acupuncture therapy against liver fibrosis. Curcumin is a natural product with antifibrotic effects, but has poor pharmacokinetic profiles. This study aimed to evaluate whether acupuncture combined with curcumin could more potently attenuate liver fibrosis in chemical intoxicated rats.
60 Sprague-Dawley male rats were randomly divided into control, model, sham, acupuncture, curcumin and combination therapy groups. During the establishment of fibrosis using carbon tetrachloride (CCl(4)), acupuncture at LR3, LR14, BL18 and ST36 and/or curcumin treatment by mouth were performed simultaneously. After treatment, pathological indexes and histology for hepatic injury and fibrogenesis were detected. The expression of extracellular matrix (ECM) components was also determined.
Acupuncture combined with curcumin potently protected the liver from CCl(4)-induced injury and fibrogenesis, as indicated by reduced levels of serum aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase, alkaline phosphatase, hyaluronic acid, laminin and procollagen III. Combined use also led to significant liver histological improvements. Furthermore, combined use effectively inhibited ECM expression such as α-smooth muscle actin, fibronectin and α1(1) collagen.
Acupuncture treatment could significantly enhance the antifibrotic efficacy of curcumin on CCl(4)-induced hepatic fibrosis in rats in vivo, suggesting that a combination of acupuncture with curcumin may be exploited for the prevention of hepatic fibrosis.
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ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to investigate the longitudinal effects of electroacupuncture (EA) on Zusanli (ST36) and Ashi acupoints in promoting skeletal muscle regeneration and inhibiting excessive fibrosis after contusion in rabbits. Sixty rabbits were randomly divided into four groups: normal, contusion, EA, and recombinant human insulin-like growth factor-I (rhIGF-I). An acute skeletal muscle contusion was produced on the right gastrocnemius (GM) by an instrument-based drop-mass technique. EA was performed for 15 minutes every two days with 0.4 mA (2 Hz), and GM injections were executed with rhIGF-I (0.25 mL once a week). Rabbits treated with EA had a higher T-SOD and T-AOC serum activities and lower MDA serum level, the blood perfusion of which was also significantly higher. In the EA group, the diameter of the myofibril was uniform and the arrangement was regular, contrary to the contusion group. The number and diameter of regenerative myofibers and MHC expression were increased in the EA group. EA treatment significantly decreased fibrosis formation and reduced both GDF-8 and p-Smad2/3 expressions in injured muscle. Our data indicate that EA may promote myofiber regeneration and reduce excessive fibrosis by improving blood flow and antioxidant capacities. Additionally, EA may regulate signaling factor expression after contusion.Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 01/2013; 2013:869398. · 1.72 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Hepatic fibrosis, as a major medical problem, is characterized with significant morbidity and mortality. Acupuncture has potential advantages in treating hepatic fibrosis as acupuncture functions well to reduce Qi and Blood stagnation, resolve stasis and enhance body immunity, which are important factors in treating hepatic fibrosis. The aim of this review was to appraise the current limited evidence of acupuncture in treating hepatic fibrosis from both animal experiments and clinical trials by using both Chinese and western databases and to provide recommendations for future studies.African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines 01/2012; 9(4):452-8. · 0.52 Impact Factor