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YanTing

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MicroRNA in Acupuncture Studies
« on: October 20, 2019, 04:30:06 PM »

Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2019, Article ID 3051472

Review Article
MicroRNA in Acupuncture Studies: Does Small RNA Shed Light on the Biological Mechanism of Acupuncture?

Jade Heejae Ko (1,2) and Seung-Nam Kim (1,2)

1 College of Korean Medicine, Dongguk University, Goyang 10326, Republic of Korea
2 Graduate School, Dongguk University, Seoul 04620, Republic of Korea

Abstract

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are the main regulators of diverse physiological processes. Recently, miRNAs have emerged as significant players related to the effect of acupuncture although the biological mechanisms connecting the function of these miRNAs with the effect of acupuncture are not well understood. In animal models of various diseases, such as neurological disease, cardiovascular disease, myopathy, and pain, a number of miRNAs were altered after administration of electroacupuncture or manual acupuncture. Nonetheless, there are a limited number of studies published so far. This paper reviewed and discussed whether miRNAs could elucidate potential biological mechanism of acupuncture in the future studies.

Free full text:
https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2019/3051472/


Excerpts:

"There are a number of acupuncture studies showing its clinical effects on neuromuscular system [18–20], opioid system [21–24], immune regulation [25, 26], hormone regulation [27, 28], and so on. Interestingly, growing evidences in animal studies have shown that miRNAs may be a possible mean to explain underlying effect of acupuncture although a possible mechanism connecting the function of these miRNAs with the effect of acupuncture has not been studied enough. Here, we reviewed recent publications related to the acupuncture and its biological mechanism via miRNA expression."

"2.1 Stroke and Cardiovascular Disorder. The efficacy of electroacupuncture (EA) was demonstrated by enhancing blood flow and protecting nerve injury as summarized in Table 1. Deng et al. made an inquiry about how EA could possibly enhance rehabilitation after ischemic stroke and miR-181b was specifically studied as a mediator in the rehabilitation process. EA was administered on the acupoint GV20 of focal cerebral ischemic rat model and miR-181b expression was remarkably downregulated in the penumbra [29]."

[additional examples of changes in miRNA are then given]

"2.2. Neurological Disorder. Table 2 shows the effect of acupuncture on changes of miRNA in neurological disorder animal model."

"2.3. Other Disease Animal Models" [examples for other conditions are given]

"Discussion

"In this study, we reviewed various studies which have shown the effect of MA and EA in different disease models via miRNA profiling. Based on the results of above-mentioned studies, it was shown that expression levels of various miRNAs, which were thought to play significant roles in various diseases, have been changed by acupuncture treatment.

"With regard to stroke and its link with miRNA, expression levels of miR-124 and miR-9 were increased by acupuncture treatment in ischemic rat models [30]. miR-124 has been studied on its inhibitory role in neural apoptosis occurred by ischemic stroke [50]. Mediating role of miR-9 was suggested as expression level of miR-9 was decreased in middle cerebral artery occlusion rat model; yet, neurological functions and behavioral abnormalities were restored with miR-9 level restoration [51]. Also, increased level of miR-132 influenced on adjusting angiogenesis by suppressing NF-kappa B and vascular endothelial growth factor in patients with ischemic cerebrovascular disease [52]. These changes and distinct roles of each miRNAs may possibly provide an intriguing connection between the effect of acupuncture on stroke and these miRNAs."

"It was suggested that dysregulation of miRNAs is possibly associated with physical dysfunctions and abnormalities. Here, based on analysis of the published literatures, we summarized that acupuncture treatment seemingly restores levels of diverse miRNAs, which were thought to play significant roles in various diseases, to the normal states, suggesting that these miRNAs potentially have influential roles in the effect of acupuncture on these diseases. Although it should be critically considered that there are methodological and hypothetical differences between the studies, the associations are intriguing and worthy to be analyzed and studied further.

"There are still relatively limited number of studies about acupuncture and miRNAs. Nevertheless, this manuscript highlighted the effect of EA and MA and in what way miRNAs have taken part in elucidating mechanism of acupuncture. New findings could conceivably lead to discovering biological mechanism of acupuncture via miRNA and it would shed light on identification of underlying mechanism of acupuncture in the near future."

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Comment: most of the studies cited were of electroacupuncture, which is not really acupuncture.
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