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J Neurosci Res. 2010 Jun;88(8):1645-50. doi: 10.1002/jnr.22329.

Mobilization of CD133(+)CD34(-) cells in healthy individuals following whole-body acupuncture for spinal cord injuries.

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Clinic for Acupuncture, Erlangen, Germany.


Acupuncture can alleviate symptoms of spinal cord injuries (SCI). The underlying mechanism, however, is unknown. We hypothesized that stem cells could be mobilized by acupuncture. Therefore, we enrolled 14 healthy study participants using acupuncture points for the treatment of SCI. The frequency of CD133 and CD34 cells in peripheral blood and the serum concentrations of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-9, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), nerve growth factor (NGF), and interleukin-6 were determined before and after acupuncture (<1 hr, 24 hr, and 48 hr). CD133(+)34(-) cells were doubled 48 hr after acupuncture, with concomitant decreases in BDNF and MMP-9 levels. Interleukin-6 remained below detectable levels, eliminating a stress-induced cell release. Individuals acupunctured on control counterpoints showed no changes in CD133(+) cells. Our results indicate that acupuncture for SCI can mobilize human CD133(+)34(-) cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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