[Discussion on the novel clues for studying the underlying mechanisms of acupuncture-induced potentiation of the curative effect of medicines]

Author: Cui JJ, Gao JH, Wang YM, Ma SH, Hu JJ, Ma YY, Yu XC.
The Medical Experimental Research Center, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing 100700, China. cuijing101@163.com
Conference/Journal: Zhen Ci Yan Jiu.
Date published: 2010 Apr
Other: Volume ID: 35 , Issue ID: 2 , Pages: 146-50 , Special Notes: [Article in Chinese] , Word Count: 182

Acupuncture combined with drugs has been widely used in the treatment of various clinical conditions and can produce a stronger or more beneficial curative effect than either separate acupuncture or chemical drug does. However, the mechanisms underlying the additive or synergetic effects of acupuncture plus drugs are not well understood so far. Based on careful review and analysis of the literature accumulated, the authors proposed several aspects possibly involving the additive or synergetic effects produced by acupuncture plus drugs. For instance, acupuncture stimulation at acupoints may influence the drug concentration in blood and/or in target organ and the bioavailability of the drug via modulating the drug absorption, distribution and metabolism in the body. In addition, the curative effect of drug may also be strengthened by acupuncture stimulation via altering the signaling pathways of the targeted specific receptors and via potentiating the resultant responsiveness or sensitivity of the cells in the target organ in responding to the drugs administered. The ideas mentioned above may raise the novel clues for further studying the mechanisms underlying acupuncture-produced increase of the curative effects of medicines.