Acupuncture reduces inflammation in COPD cases

Background: To provide new ideas for the clinical and mechanism research of acupuncture in the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), this study systematically reviews clinical research and the progress of basic research of acupuncture in the treatment of COPD.

Methods: PubMed and Web of Science databases were searched using acupuncture and COPD as keywords in the last 10 years, and the included literature was determined according to exclusion criteria.

Findings: Acupuncture can relieve clinical symptoms, improve exercise tolerance, anxiety, and nutritional status, as well as hemorheological changes (blood viscosity), reduce the inflammatory response, and reduce the duration and frequency of COPD in patients with COPD.

Mechanistically, acupuncture inhibits M1 macrophage activity, reduces neutrophil infiltration, reduces inflammatory factor production in alveolar type II epithelial cells, inhibits mucus hypersecretion of airway epithelial cells, inhibits the development of chronic inflammation in COPD, and slows tissue structure destruction.

Acupuncture may control pulmonary COPD inflammation through the vagal-cholinergic anti-inflammatory, vagal-adrenomedullary-dopamine, vagal-dual-sensory nerve fiber-pulmonary, and CNS-hypothalamus-orexin pathways. Furthermore, acupuncture can increase endogenous cortisol levels by inhibiting the HPA axis, thus improving airway antioxidant capacity and reducing airway inflammation in COPD. In conclusion, the inhibition of the chronic inflammatory response is the key mechanism of acupuncture treatment for COPD.


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About Attilio

Doctor of Chinese medicine, acupuncture expert and author of My Fertility Guide and My Pregnancy Guide.

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