Acupuncture Muscle Regeneration Discovery

Acupuncture Muscle Regeneration Discovery


Acupuncture is effective for the alleviation of denervated skeletal muscle atrophy. Researchers at the Fujian Provincial Research Institution of Traditional Chinese Medicine conclude that acupuncture reduces muscle cell death while promoting the proliferation and differentiation of muscle satellite cells. Satellite cells help to repair and regenerate muscle fibers. Morgan and Partridge note that skeletal muscle satellite cells “are normally quiescent in adult muscle, but act as a reserve population of cells, able to proliferate in response to injury and give rise to regenerated muscle and to more satellite cells.” [1]

In a quantification of acupuncture’s effective mechanisms, the Fujian Provincial Research Institution of Traditional Chinese Medicine researchers identified an important signaling pathway activated by acupuncture that is responsible for producing its therapeutic benefits.

Compared with the control group, the cell death index of the electroacupuncture (EA) group was significantly improved, indicating that acupuncture reduced muscle cell death. Findings also indicated that acupuncture increased the number of progenitor and satellite cells.

Lab rats had electro acupuncture near a muscle injury site and at the famous point Stomach 36.

Human Clinical Trial
In related research, Huang et al. combined electroacupuncture with a conventional rehabilitation training program. [8] They found that the combined therapy successfully alleviated quadricep atrophy while improving knee function in human subjects. Two groups were compared. Each received an identical rehabilitation training program. The treatment group also received electroacupuncture. All patients had quadricep atrophy after knee surgery.

True acupuncture produced superior patient outcomes including improvements in muscle strength, quadriceps angles, thigh circumference, knee range of motion, and Lysholm scores. The quadricep angle is a measurement used to assess the alignment of the knee joint. The Lysholm knee scale is used to evaluate knee stability and function. Four acupoints were used in the study:

The results of the aforementioned research indicates that acupuncture is an effective treatment modality for skeletal muscle atrophy. According to the research, common protocols involve the application of acupoints on the Yangming stomach meridian for this condition. In addition,

[1] Morgan, Jennifer E., and Terence A. Partridge. “Muscle satellite cells.” The international journal of biochemistry & cell biology 35, no. 8 (2003): 1151-1156.
[2] Chen X, Ye XR, Huang XQ. Effect of electroacupuncture on denervated skeletal muscle atrophy and expression of IGF-1/PI3K/AKT in rats [J]. Chinese Acupuncture and Moxibustion, 2018,38(12):1311-1317.
[3] Xu JG, Gu YD, Li JF. Experimental study of rat denervated skeletal muscle atrophy [J]. Journal of Shanghai Medical University, 1999, 26(4): 265-268.
[4] Yip WK, Leong VC, Abdullah MA, Yusoff S, Seow HF. Overexpression of phospho-Akt correlates with phosphorylation of EGF receptor, FKHR and BAD in nasopharyngeal carcinoma[J], Oncol Rep. 2008 Feb;19(2):319-28.
[5] Latres E, Amini AR, Amini AA, et al. Insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) inversely regulates atrophy-induced genes via the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt/mammalian target of rapamycin (PI3K/Akt/mTOR) pathway[J]. J Biol Chem, 2005, 280(4): 2737-2744.
[6] Li QW, Yisidatoulawo, Guo Y et al. Effects of electroacupuncture at different frequencies on morphological changes of nervous tissues and electromyogram of skeletal muscles in the rat with injury of sciatic nerve[J]. Chinese Acupuncture, 2005, 25(3): 73-76.
[7] Sun YC. Experimental study on the repair of sciatic nerve injury in rats by different waveforms, frequency, stimulation intensity and time of electroacupuncture [D]. Harbin: Heilongjiang University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, 2005.
[8] Huang WZ. Electroacupuncture combined with rehabilitation training to combat ACT reconstruction clinical studies of postoperative quadriceps atrophy [D]. Guangzhou University of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Source: HealthCMi