Acupuncture is effective to attenuate stress and stimulate lymphocyte proliferation in the elderly
ABSTRACT Acupuncture has increasingly been used to treat many conditions, including psychiatric disorders and immunological-related disorders. However, the effects of acupuncture as stress management and immune functions in the elderly are largely unclear. Here we investigated the effects of acupuncture on stress-related psychological symptoms and cellular immunity in young adults and elderly subjects. The acupuncture treatment consisted of six sessions and the procedures included the insertion of needles at bilateral acupoints LI4, SP6 and ST36. Psychological variables (depression, anxiety and stress) were investigated by means of self-assessment inventories. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells were isolated and cultured in vitro to measure mitogen-induced T-cell proliferation as well as cellular sensitivity to dexamethasone. All data were assessed before and after the intervention. Acupuncture was able to significantly reduce depression (p<0.001), anxiety (p<0.001) and stress (p<0.001) scores. The intervention also increased T-cell proliferation, with greater intensity in the elderly group (p=0.004). No changes in cellular sensitivity to dexamethasone were observed following acupuncture. We conclude that acupuncture was efficient to attenuate the psychological distress as well as to increase an important feature of cellular immunosenescence.
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ABSTRACT: Poor sleep in elderly populations is associated with detrimental neuropsychological, and physiological changes including premature immunosenescence and reduced brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Here, we evaluated the effects of acupuncture on sleep quality, psychological distress and immunosenescence in elderly, as well as effects on BDNF levels. Forty-eight community-dwelling elderly were randomized into true or placebo acupuncture, and intervention consisted of ten sessions. Sleep quality, depression and stress scores were evaluated by the Pittsburgh sleep quality index (PSQI), beck depression inventory (BDI II) and perceived stress scale (PSS), respectively, before and after the intervention. Lymphocyte subsets commonly associated with stress, sleep impairment and immunosenescence were phenotyped by flow cytometry. BDNF plasma levels were assessed by ELISAs. Acupuncture was highly effective for improving sleep quality (-53.23%; p<0.01), depression (-48.41%; p<0.01), and stress (-25.46%; p<0.01). However, neither lymphocyte subpopulations nor BDNF levels changed following the intervention. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.Neuroscience Letters 12/2014; 587. DOI:10.1016/j.neulet.2014.12.016 · 2.06 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether acupuncture stimulation attenuates withdrawal-induced behaviors in the rats during protracted abstinence following chronic morphine exposure. To do this, male rats were first exposed to morphine gradually from 20 to 100 mg/kg for 5 days, and subsequently naloxone was injected once to extend despair-related withdrawal behaviors for 4 weeks. Acupuncture stimulation was performed once at the SP6 (Sanyinjiao) acupoint on rat's; hind leg for 5 min during protracted abstinence from morphine. The acupuncture stimulation significantly decreased despair-like behavior deficits in the forced swimming test and low sociability in the open-field test as well as increased open-arm exploration in the elevated plus maze test in the last week of 4-week withdrawal period. Also the acupuncture stimulation significantly suppressed the increase in the hypothalamic corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) expression, the decrease in the tyrosine hydroxylase expression in the locus coeruleus, and the decrease in the hippocampal brain-derived neurotrophic factor mRNA expression, induced by repeated injection of morphine. Taken together, these findings demonstrate that the acupuncture stimulation of SP6 significantly reduces withdrawal-induced behaviors, induced by repeated administration of morphine in rats, possibly through the modulation of hypothalamic CRF and the central noradrenergic system.Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 01/2014; 2014:216503. DOI:10.1155/2014/216503 · 1.88 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: In a previous paper we reported that electroacupuncture (EA) could suppress opioid withdrawal syndrome and increase the appetite, sleep, and body weight in heroin addicts or morphine dependent animals. Considering that opioids were known to inhibit immune function, the present study was designed to observe whether EA could modulate the immune status of morphine dependent and withdrawal mice. We found that chronic morphine-induced decrease of splenic T lymphocyte proliferation and IL-2 production can be significantly raised by 2 Hz EA, and the fluctuation of CD4(+)/CD8(+) ratio was also run to the baseline level by the EA. These findings indicated that chronic morphine exposure-induced immune dysfunction in mice could be normalized by 2 Hz EA.Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 06/2011; 2011:424092. DOI:10.1155/2011/424092 · 1.88 Impact Factor