Heat-sensitive moxibustion at the Sanjiao meridian of hand-Shaoyang in psoriatic rats
Chen Chu, Ouyang Hougan, Qi Yanzhe, Zhu Xuying, Wang Zi
College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Jiangxi University of Chinese Medicine, Nanchang 330004, Jiangxi Province, China
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Heat-sensitive moxibustion is confirmed to be effective in the treatment of psoriasis, but the specific mechanism is still unclear.
OBJECTIVE: To explore the effect of heat-sensitive moxibustion on psoriasis rats and its mechanism.
METHODS: Sixty healthy Sprague-Dawley rats aged 8-10 weeks were randomly divided into blank control group (n=15), model group (n=15), and treatment group (n=30). Except for the blank group, animal models of psoriatic lesions were made on the back and the skin along the Sanjiao meridian of hand-Shaoyang. After successful modeling, the treatment group was treated with heat-sensitive moxibustion at Waiguan point of the Sanjiao meridian of hand-Shaoyang at the same time every day, 40 minutes once, for 7 continuous days. The treatment group was subdivided into heat-sensitive moxibustion group (n=15) and moxibustion group (n=15) according to the changes of tail temperature in the daily moxibustion process. After treatment, the rats in each group were scored by the psoriasis area and severity index (PASI), and after treatment, the protein expressions of JAK3, STAT3, p-JAK3, and p-STAT3 in the skin and fascia of Waiguan point were detected by western blot assay.
RESULTS AND CONCLUSION: The PASI scores in the moxibustion group and heat-sensitive moxibustion group were lower than that in the model group, while the PASI score in the heat-sensitive moxibustion group was lower than that in the moxibustion group and there was no significant difference between groups. Compared with the model group, the protein expressions of p-JAK3 and p-STAT3 in the fascia of Waiguan point were significantly decreased (P < 0.05), and the protein expression of p-JAK3 in the skin of Waiguan point was also significantly reduced in the moxibustion group (P < 0.05). Compared with the model group, the protein expressions of JAK3, STAT3, p-JAK3, and p-STAT in the fascia and skin of Waiguan point were significantly decreased in the heat-sensitive moxibustion group (P < 0.05). Compared with the moxibustion group, the protein expression of STAT3 in the fascia of Waiguan point was significantly reduced in the heat-sensitive moxibustion group (P < 0.05). To conclude, both moxibustion and heat-sensitive moxibustion can improve the skin lesions of psoriatic rats and inhibit the inflammation of psoriasis. Furthermore, heat-sensitive moxibustion has a better efficacy than moxibustion, and its mechanism may be related to the inhibition of STAT3 signal pathway.
Key words: heat-sensitive moxibustion, fascia, psoriasis, STAT3, signal pathway, moxibustion, rat