MOXIBUSTION HAS A POSITIVE EFFECT ON PULMONARY FIBROSIS: AN ALTERNATIVE APPROACH|
Cheng, Lin; Li, Rong; Zhou, Mijuan; Li, Fuhong; Chang, Quanying; Li, Cuixia & Lu, Xuejing
Background: An increasing number of people suffered idiopathic fibrosis (IPF) and the current treatment was far from
clinical satisfaction. Moxibustion, another effective and safe unconventional therapy, had been introduced to treat this
refractory disease. The study aimed to investigate the effect of moxibustion on a bleomycin A5-induced pulmonary
Materials and Methods: Sprague-dawley (SD) rats were randomly allocated to the blank group, model group,
moxibustion group, and prednisone group, for which they received no treatment, modeling, moxibustion treatment and
prednisone treatment. After four-week treatment, the rats were euthanized for Hematoxylin and Eosin (H.E.) staining,
and TGF-β1 and IFN-γ protein and mRNA detection in lungs.
Results: In the model group, TGF-β1 was significantly increased and IFN-γ was significantly decreased at both protein
and mRNA levels in comparison to the blank group. In the moxibustion and prednisone group, however, TGF- β1 was
decreased and IFN-γ was increased at both protein and mRNA levels in comparison to the model groups. Compared with
prednisone, moxibustion showed comparable effect in lowing TGF-β1 (P>0.05) and better effect in up-regulating
Conclusion: The study concludes moxibustion protected pulmonary fibrosis by downregulating TGF-β1 and
upregulating IFN-γ cytokines at both mRNA and protein levels, and the effect was comparable to prednisone.
Moxibustion could be used as a therapeutic alternative treatment for pulmonary fibrosis.
moxibustion; pulmonary fibrosis; TGF-β1; IFN-γ; rats