Skip to main content

Effects of acupuncture on the tissue distribution of Paclitaxel in lung carcinoma mice



To study whether acupuncture affects the tissue distribution of Paclitaxel in mouse lung carcinoma.


Totally 90 mice were divided into Paclitaxel group, Paclitaxel + Feishu (BL13) group, and Paclitaxel + Lingtai (DU10) group. Each group was consisted of 30 mice. After Paclitaxel injection, the mice received electro-acupuncture at Feishu or Lingtai acupoints once a day for 8 days. The effect of acupuncture on the tissue distribution of Paclitaxel was evaluated using high-performance liquid chromatography at 1, 2, and 3 h, respectively. The lung, liver, spleen, and kidney were examined for the concentration of Paclitaxel seperately.


Paclitaxel was widely distributed in various organs, particularly in the lung, liver, and kidney. Acupuncture at Lingtai or Feishu acupoints resulted in an obvious decrease of Paclitaxel distribution in kidney and delayed Paclitaxel distribution in liver. Meanwhile, it increased the time of metabolism. Acupuncture at Feishu acupoint facilitated the delivery of Paclitaxel to lung more effectively than did acupuncture at Lingtai acupoint.


Applying acupuncture at particular acupoints can influence tissue distribution of Paclitaxel. Tissue distribution change might be one of the mechanisms of acupuncture treatment during chemotherapy.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.


  1. Coolbrandt A, Heede K Van den, E Vanhove, A De Bom, K Milisen. Immediate versus delayed self-reporting of symptoms and side effects during chemotherapy: Does timing matter. Eur J Oncol Nurs 2011;15:130–136.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Ezzo J, A Vickers, MA Richardson, C Allen, SL Dibble, B Issell, et al. Acupuncture-point stimulation for chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. J Clin Oncol 2005;23:7188–7198.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Pan CX, Morrison RS, Ness J, Fugh-Berman A, Leipzig RM. Complementary and alternative medicine in the management of pain, dyspnea, and nausea and vomiting near the end of life. A systematic review. J Pain Symptom Manage 2000;20:374–387.

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  4. Konkimalla VB, Efferth T. Evidence-based Chinese medicine for cancer therapy. J Ethnopharmacol 2008;116:207–210.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Carlsson C. Acupuncture mechanisms for clinically relevant long-term effects-reconsideration and a hypothesis. Acupunct Med 2002;20:82–99.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Filshie J. Complementary medicine (CM) for cancer pain control. EJC Supplem 2005;3:107–116.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Jia YJ, Li XJ, Sun YY, Chen J, Zhang Y, Huang MN, et al. Progress in traditional Chinese medicine therapy study on lung fibrosis caused by lung cancer chemotherapy. Heilongjiang J Tradit Chin Med (Chin) 2010;2:58–59.

    Google Scholar 

  8. Gao Y, Xie JP, Wang JR, Wu YX, Li CH, Wang Y. Acupoint selection and specificity in treatment of lung disease with acupuncture. J Beijing Univ Tradit Chin Med (Chin) 2008;15:39–41.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. Wang Y, Zhang Z, Yan Y, Lemon WJ, LaRegina M, Morrison C, et al. A chemically induced model for squamous cell carcinoma of the lung in mice histopathology and strain susceptibility. Cancer Res 2004;1;64:1647–1654.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Rowinsky EK, Wright M, Monsarrat B, Lesser GJ, Donehower RC. Taxol: pharmacology, metabolism and clinical implications. Cancer Surv 1993;17:283–304.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  11. Xue CC, Li CG, Hügel HM, Story DF. Does acupuncture or Chinese herbal medicine have a role in the treatment of allergic rhinitis. Curr Opin Allergy Clin Immunol 2006;6:175–179.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Mi WL, Mao-Ying QL, Liu Q, Wang XW, Wang YQ, Wu GC. Synergistic anti-hyperalgesia of electroacupuncture and low dose of celecoxib in monoarthritic rats: involvement of the cyclooxygenase activity in the spinal cord. Brain Res Bull 2008;77:98–104.

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  13. Nystrom E, Ridderstrom G, Leffler AS. Manual acupuncture as an adjunctive treatment of nausea in patients with cancer in palliative care-a prospective, observational pilot study. Acupunct Med 2008;26:27–32.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Naeim A, Dy SM, Lorenz KA, Sanati H, Walling A, Asch SM. Evidence-based recommendations for cancer nausea and vomiting. J Clin Oncol 2008;26:3879–3885.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Clarke SJ, Rivory LP. Clinical pharmacokinetics of docetaxel. Clin Pharmacokinet 1999;36:99–114.

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  16. Zhao N, Ji B, Shi H, Ren Q. Changes of pulmonary function in health people after acupuncture of Feishu point. Acupunct Res (Chin) 2000;25:290–291.

    Google Scholar 

  17. Cheng ZD, Chen YG. Effect of acupuncture combined with TAX on the expression of apoptosis related factor p53 and bcl-2 of mice Lewis lung cancer cells. Chin J Inf Tradit Chin Med (Chin) 2007;14:23–24, 77.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Ze-dong Cheng.

Additional information

Supported by Special Program of Chinese Medicine of the National Basic Research Program of China (973 Program, No. 2012CB518503) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 81072890)

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Cheng, Zd., Wang, Sz., Li, Cr. et al. Effects of acupuncture on the tissue distribution of Paclitaxel in lung carcinoma mice. Chin. J. Integr. Med. (2014).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Published:

  • DOI:


  • acupuncture
  • lung
  • carcinoma
  • Paclitaxel
  • Feishu
  • Lingtai