[Effect of acupuncture at Baihui (GV 20) and Zusanli (ST 36) on the level of serum inflammatory cytokines in patients with depression]

Author: Sun H, Zhao H, Zhang J, Bao F, Wei J, Wang DH, Zhang YX.
Department of TCM, Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing 100730, China. sunhuahe@vip.sina.com
Conference/Journal: Zhongguo Zhen Jiu.
Date published: 2010 Mar
Other: Volume ID: 30 , Issue ID: 3 , Pages: 195-9 , Special Notes: [Article in Chinese] , Word Count: 285

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the immunologic mechanism of acupuncture at Baihui (GV 20) and Zusanli (ST 36) for treatment of depression. METHODS: Eighty-four cases of depression patients were randomly divided into an electroacupuncture observation group (group A), an electroacupuncture control group (group B) and a medication control group (group C), 28 cases in each group. Baihui (GV 20) and Zusanli (ST 36) were used in the group A; Taichong (LR 3), Sanyinjiao (SP 6), Neiguan (PC 6) and Shenmen (HT 7) were used in the group B; and the group C was treated with oral administration of Fluoxetine. The scores of Hamilton Depression Scale (HAMD) were tested and the level of serum interleukin 1 (IL-1 beta), interleukin 6 (IL-6), and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) were measured by Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) before and after treatment. RESULTS: Their scores of HAMD were obviously decreased after treatment in three groups (all P<0.01). In the group A, 2 cases were cured, 19 cases were markedly effective, 5 cases were effective and 2 cases were ineffective. In the group B, 16 cases were markedly effective, 12 cases were effective. While in the group C, 1 case was cured, 17 cases were markedly effective, 7 cases were effective and 3 cases were ineffective. The grade distribution of clinical effect showed that the effect of group A was better (P<0.05). The levels of serum IL-1 beta and IL-6 in the three groups were obviously decreased after treatment (P<0.05, P<0.01), while there was no significant difference between the level of serum TNF-alpha before and after treatment. CONCLUSION: The effect of electroacupuncture observation group is superior to those of electroacupuncture control group and medication control group. All of these three methods can clear the inflammatory cytokines such as IL-1 beta and IL-6 away and improve the symptoms of depression.