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Zhen Ci Yan Jiu. 2015 Jun;40(3):229-32.

[Effect of Warm-needle Moxibustion on Expression of Transfer Growth Factor-β1 and Insulin- like Growth Factor I in Knee Cartilage of Rabbits with Knee Osteoarthritis].

[Article in Chinese]



To observe the effect of warm-needle moxibustion on transfer growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) and insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) expression in knee cartilage of knee osteoarthritis (KOA) rabbits so as to explore its underlying mechanism in improving osteoarthritis.


Thirty Japanese white rabbits were randomly and equally divided into control, model and warm-needle moxibustion(treatment) groups (n = 10 in each group). The KOA model was made by immobilization of the rabbit knee. Warm-needle moxibustion was applied to internal and external Dubi (ST 35), Yanglingquan (GB 34) and Xuehai (SP 10) on the affected side for 30 min in each session and for consecutive 4 weeks. The expression levels of TGF-P 1 and IGF-I in the knee cartilage tissue were assessed by means of radioimmunoassay. HE staining was carried out to examine the morphological changes of knee cartilage.


In comparison with the control group, the expression levels of both TGF-β1 and IGF-I were up-regulated in the model group(P<0. 05) and then down-regulated after the warm-needle moxibustion treatment(P<0. 05). In addition, after the treatment the surface of the knee cartilage of rabbits became smoother and less cell proliferations and clusters were found in the cartilage in the warm-needle moxibustion group compared to those of the model group.


Warm-needle moxibustion therapy can inhibit the overexpression of TGF-β1 and IGF-I in the knee cartilage of rabbits with KOA, which may be responsible for its effect in improving pathological changes of the cartilage.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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