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Toxins 2015, 7(3), 846-858; doi:10.3390/toxins7030846

The Effects of Bee Venom Acupuncture on the Central Nervous System and Muscle in an Animal hSOD1G93A Mutant

1
Department of KM Fundamental Research, Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine, 483 Expo-ro, Daejeon, Yuseong-gu 305-811, Korea
2
Executive Director of R&D, Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine, 483 Expo-ro, Daejeon, Yuseong-gu 305-811, Korea
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Sokcheon Pak
Received: 26 November 2014 / Revised: 17 February 2015 / Accepted: 3 March 2015 / Published: 13 March 2015
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [661 KB, uploaded 13 March 2015]   |  

Abstract

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is caused by the degeneration of lower and upper motor neurons, leading to muscle paralysis and respiratory failure. However, there is no effective drug or therapy to treat ALS. Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), including acupuncture, pharmacopuncture, herbal medicine, and massage is popular due to the significant limitations of conventional therapy. Bee venom acupuncture (BVA), also known as one of pharmacopunctures, has been used in Oriental medicine to treat inflammatory diseases. The purpose of this study is to investigate the effect of BVA on the central nervous system (CNS) and muscle in symptomatic hSOD1G93A transgenic mice, an animal model of ALS. Our findings show that BVA at ST36 enhanced motor function and decreased motor neuron death in the spinal cord compared to that observed in hSOD1G93A transgenic mice injected intraperitoneally (i.p.) with BV. Furthermore, BV treatment at ST36 eliminated signaling downstream of inflammatory proteins such as TLR4 in the spinal cords of symptomatic hSOD1G93A transgenic mice. However, i.p. treatment with BV reduced the levels of TNF-α and Bcl-2 expression in the muscle hSOD1G93A transgenic mice. Taken together, our findings suggest that BV pharmacopuncture into certain acupoints may act as a chemical stimulant to activate those acupoints and subsequently engage the endogenous immune modulatory system in the CNS in an animal model of ALS. View Full-Text
Keywords: amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; bee venom acupuncture; acupoint; central nervous system amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; bee venom acupuncture; acupoint; central nervous system
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Cai, M.; Choi, S.-M.; Yang, E.J. The Effects of Bee Venom Acupuncture on the Central Nervous System and Muscle in an Animal hSOD1G93A Mutant. Toxins 2015, 7, 846-858.

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