Digestive Diseases and Sciences

, Volume 52, Issue 2, pp 379–384 | Cite as

Electroacupuncture and Moxibustion Promote Neutrophil Apoptosis and Improve Ulcerative Colitis in Rats

  • Huan-Gan Wu
  • Hui-Rong Liu
  • Lin-Ying Tan
  • Ye-Jing Gong
  • Yin Shi
  • Tian-Ping Zhao
  • Yao Yi
  • Yun Yang
Original Article


The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of electroacupuncture (EA) and moxibustion on promoting neutrophil apoptosis. A rat model of ulcerative colitis was established by immunological methods using human colonic mucosa as antigen. All rats were randomly assigned to the model control (MC) group, EA group, or herbs-partition moxibustion (HPM) group. Normal rats were used as the normal control (NC) group. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from all rats and circular neutrophils from NC rats were isolated and cultured. Circular neutrophils were incubated with cultured supernatants of PBMCs from the MC, NC, EA, and HPM groups, respectively. Neutrophil apoptosis and concentration of IL-1β, IL-6, and TNF-α from induced cultured supernatants were detected by cell cytometry and ELISA, respectively. Compared with MC, HPM, and EA rats, mucosal inflammatory lesions abated remarkably. No hyperemia or edema was seen in the lamina propia, inflammatory cell infiltration decreased, neutrophil infiltration disappeared, and epithelial and crypt cells proliferated and repaired the ulceration of the mucosa. Neutrophil apoptosis was promoted. Concentrations of IL-1β, IL-6, and TNF-α were decreased, respectively. We conclude that EA and HPM therapy can improve ulcerative colitis rats histologically, which may be due to promoting neutrophil apoptosis and down-regulating monocyte cytokines. EA and moxibustion are effective for treating ulcerative colitis.


Electroacupuncture Moxibustion Ulcerative colitis Neutrophil apoptosis Rats 



This work was supported by the Shanghai Leading Academic Discipline Project (Project No. T0302), the National Basic Research Program of China (973 program; Grant No. 2005 CB523306), and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 30371806). Many thanks go Dr. Zean Zhang of Shanghai University of TCM for his invaluable suggestions and advice during the final stages of the preparation of this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Huan-Gan Wu
    • 1
  • Hui-Rong Liu
    • 1
  • Lin-Ying Tan
    • 1
  • Ye-Jing Gong
    • 1
  • Yin Shi
    • 1
  • Tian-Ping Zhao
    • 1
  • Yao Yi
    • 1
  • Yun Yang
    • 1
  1. 1.Shanghai Research Institute of Acupuncture and MeridianXuHui districtP.R. China

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