Research: KANG and co-workers,

Listed in Issue 145


KANG and co-workers, Department of Meridian and Acupoints, College of Korean Medicine, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, South Korea; WHO Collaborating Centre for Traditional Medicine, East-West Medical Research Institute, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, South Korea, have studied the effects of acupuncture on Parkinson’s disease in an animal model.


the aim of this study was to investigate the neuroprotective effects of acupuncture by examining whether acupuncture contributed to inhibiting microglial activation and inflammatory events.


This was a laboratory study using a mouse model of 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP)-induced Parkinson's disease. C57BL/6 mice were treated with MPTP (30 mg/kg, i.p.) for 5 consecutive days. Acupuncture was then applied to acupoints Yanglingquan (GB34) and Taichong (LR3) starting 2 h after the first MPTP administration and then at 48 h intervals until the mice were sacrificed for analyses at 1, 3, and 7 days after the last MPTP injection.


These experiments demonstrated that acupuncture inhibited the decrease of the enzyme tyrosine hydroxylase and generated a neuroprotective effects in the striatum and the substantia nigra areas of the mouse brains. Acupuncture attenuated the increase of a marker of microglial activation, and reduced the increases in cyclooxygenase-2 and inducible nitric oxide synthase. Dopamine in the striatum was reduced to 46% after 7 days in the control group, whereas in the acupuncture group it was 78%.


On the basis of these results, it is suggested that acupuncture could be used as a neuroprotective intervention in Parkinson’s disease.


Kang JM, Park HJ, Choi YG, Choe IH, Park JH, Kim YS, Lim S. Acupuncture inhibits microglial activation and inflammatory events in the MPTP-induced mouse model. Brain Research 1131 (1): 211-219, Feb 2, 2007.

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