Effects of acupuncture on immune response related to opioid-like peptides



Effects of acupuncture on immune response related to opioid-like peptides


Journal Publication







Research Type



Experimental research has recently shown that acupuncture induces the formation of opioid-like peptides (OLPs) in animals. In order to provide further evidence, we tested the beta-endorphin levels and other parameters (VIP, lymphocyte subsets, NK cells and monocyte phagocytosis) in a group of 90 patients suffering from various painful disorders treated with acupuncture. Zusanli (St 36) and Hegu (LI 4) acupoints were selected. A homogeneous group of 30 subjects was used as control. Evaluation of the above parameters was made with 3 series of blood tests before treatment, 30 minutes and 24 hours after acupuncture treatment. In the acupuncture group, the following results were achieved: 1) A considerable increase in beta-endorphin levels remained high even 24 hours after acupuncture treatment. In addition, we demonstrated an inverted correlation between beta-endorphins and VIP; 2) 30 minutes after acupuncture session, 80% of the treated patients showed a significant increase of CD3 and CD4 values and an increase of CD8 24 hours after stimulation; 3) Monocyte phagocytosis was increased in 45% of the treated subjects 30 minutes from starting treatment, and in 100% of them after 24 hours. The percentage of NK cells was also increased in 40% of cases after 30 minutes, and in 50% after 24 hours. However, in the control group, no such significant changes in immune parameters were found.


Date of Input: 5/28/2015; Date Modified: 5/28/2015; Availability: --In File--; Priority: Normal; Paracelso Institute, Roma, Italy.; eng; Web: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=10437265

has study population number


Item sets