Systems biology approach opens door to essence of acupuncture.

Author: Zhang A, Sun H, Yan G, Cheng W, Wang X.
National TCM Key Lab of Serum Pharmacochemistry, Key Lab of Chinmedomics, Key Pharmacometabolomics Platform of Chinese Medicines, First Affiliated Hospital, and Heilongjiang University of Chinese Medicine, Heping Road 24, Harbin 150040, China.
Conference/Journal: Complement Ther Med.
Date published: 2013 Jun
Other: Volume ID: 21 , Issue ID: 3 , Pages: 253-9 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2013.03.002 , Word Count: 234

For World Health Organization proposed 'Health for All', we should be to promote the use of traditional medicine. Traditional Chinese acupuncture has a history over 3000 years and is effective in the treatment of many conditions with few side effects. Acupuncture, an intrinsic part of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), which utilizes fine needles to pierce through specific anatomical points (called "acupoints"), has been extensively used and has emerged as an important modality of complementary and alternative therapy to Western medicine. It is vital and necessary to explore the underlying biological mechanisms of acupuncture. Systems biology has become practically available and resembles acupuncture in many aspects and is current key technology that serves as the major driving force for translation of acupuncture medicine revolution into practice, will advance acupuncture therapy into healthcare for individuals. High-throughput genomics, proteomics and metabolomics in the context of systems biology have been able to identify potential candidates for the effects of acupuncture and provide valuable information toward understanding mechanisms of the therapy. To realize the full potential of TCM acupuncture, we describe the current status of principles and practice of acupuncture integrated with systems biology platform in the post-genomic era. Some characteristic examples are presented to highlight the application of this platform in omics and systems biology approaches to acupuncture research and some of the necessary milestones for moving acupuncture into mainstream health care.
Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
PMID: 23642958