International Journal of Chinese Medicine

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Acupuncture in Patients with Spinal Cord Injuries: Mobilization of Potential Neuroprogenitors and Clinical Outcome in a Case Series

Received: 11 May 2021    Accepted: 26 May 2021    Published: 4 June 2021
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Abstract

Background: Spinal cord injuries (SCI) often lead to devastating loss of neurological functions. Among other therapeutic methods, acupuncture is applied to support recovery. In former studies with healthy volunteers, we demonstrated an acupuncture-induced mobilization of potential neuroprogenitors. We hypothesized that this might also occur in patients with SCI and thereby improve regeneration. Methods: Four patients with SCI were acupunctured 15 times over a period of eight weeks. Before and after each acupuncture, CD133+34 cells were determined as potential neuroprogenitors by flow cytometry. By means of Elisa, we measured matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP-9), which is suggested to be involved in the mobilization of progenitor cells, and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a neurotrophin regulating neurogenesis. Patients’ motor and sensory functions were determined by American Spinal Injury Association Impairment Scale (AIS), and the quality of life was assessed using short form (SF)-36. Results: We observed that the number of potential neuroprogenitors increased gradually in peripheral blood over the eight weeks’ course of acupuncture treatment with a concomitant increase of MMP-9 and decrease in BDNF (p<0.05). Patients felt an improved sensory function and showed a positive perception of acupuncture treatment, while no clear changes in motor function were documented. Conclusion: Our results suggest that acupuncture induces the mobilization of potential neuroprogenitors in SCI patients, improvement of subjective sensory function and a better quality of life. Whether and to what extent acupuncture supports regeneration needs to be verified in future studies. Study registration: ISRCTN, ISRCTN71857369, retrospectively registered 18 February 2019, http://www.isrctn.com/ISRCTN71857369).

DOI 10.11648/j.ijcm.20210502.12
Published in International Journal of Chinese Medicine (Volume 5, Issue 2, June 2021)
Page(s) 29-37
Creative Commons

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, provided the original work is properly cited.

Copyright

Copyright © The Author(s), 2024. Published by Science Publishing Group

Keywords

Mobilization, Stem Cell, Spinal Cord Injury, Peripheral Blood, Matrix Metalloproteinase, Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor, Acupuncture, Regeneration

References
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Cite This Article
  • APA Style

    Mingyuan Wu, Sonja Moldenhauer, Matthias Duetsch, Thomas Scheffel, Rainer Hellweg, et al. (2021). Acupuncture in Patients with Spinal Cord Injuries: Mobilization of Potential Neuroprogenitors and Clinical Outcome in a Case Series. International Journal of Chinese Medicine, 5(2), 29-37. https://doi.org/10.11648/j.ijcm.20210502.12

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    ACS Style

    Mingyuan Wu; Sonja Moldenhauer; Matthias Duetsch; Thomas Scheffel; Rainer Hellweg, et al. Acupuncture in Patients with Spinal Cord Injuries: Mobilization of Potential Neuroprogenitors and Clinical Outcome in a Case Series. Int. J. Chin. Med. 2021, 5(2), 29-37. doi: 10.11648/j.ijcm.20210502.12

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    AMA Style

    Mingyuan Wu, Sonja Moldenhauer, Matthias Duetsch, Thomas Scheffel, Rainer Hellweg, et al. Acupuncture in Patients with Spinal Cord Injuries: Mobilization of Potential Neuroprogenitors and Clinical Outcome in a Case Series. Int J Chin Med. 2021;5(2):29-37. doi: 10.11648/j.ijcm.20210502.12

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  • @article{10.11648/j.ijcm.20210502.12,
      author = {Mingyuan Wu and Sonja Moldenhauer and Matthias Duetsch and Thomas Scheffel and Rainer Hellweg and Andreas Holloschi and Frank Rainer Abel and Wei Han and Anja Moldenhauer},
      title = {Acupuncture in Patients with Spinal Cord Injuries: Mobilization of Potential Neuroprogenitors and Clinical Outcome in a Case Series},
      journal = {International Journal of Chinese Medicine},
      volume = {5},
      number = {2},
      pages = {29-37},
      doi = {10.11648/j.ijcm.20210502.12},
      url = {https://doi.org/10.11648/j.ijcm.20210502.12},
      eprint = {https://article.sciencepublishinggroup.com/pdf/10.11648.j.ijcm.20210502.12},
      abstract = {Background: Spinal cord injuries (SCI) often lead to devastating loss of neurological functions. Among other therapeutic methods, acupuncture is applied to support recovery. In former studies with healthy volunteers, we demonstrated an acupuncture-induced mobilization of potential neuroprogenitors. We hypothesized that this might also occur in patients with SCI and thereby improve regeneration. Methods: Four patients with SCI were acupunctured 15 times over a period of eight weeks. Before and after each acupuncture, CD133+34– cells were determined as potential neuroprogenitors by flow cytometry. By means of Elisa, we measured matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP-9), which is suggested to be involved in the mobilization of progenitor cells, and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a neurotrophin regulating neurogenesis. Patients’ motor and sensory functions were determined by American Spinal Injury Association Impairment Scale (AIS), and the quality of life was assessed using short form (SF)-36. Results: We observed that the number of potential neuroprogenitors increased gradually in peripheral blood over the eight weeks’ course of acupuncture treatment with a concomitant increase of MMP-9 and decrease in BDNF (p<0.05). Patients felt an improved sensory function and showed a positive perception of acupuncture treatment, while no clear changes in motor function were documented. Conclusion: Our results suggest that acupuncture induces the mobilization of potential neuroprogenitors in SCI patients, improvement of subjective sensory function and a better quality of life. Whether and to what extent acupuncture supports regeneration needs to be verified in future studies. Study registration: ISRCTN, ISRCTN71857369, retrospectively registered 18 February 2019, http://www.isrctn.com/ISRCTN71857369).},
     year = {2021}
    }
    

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  • TY  - JOUR
    T1  - Acupuncture in Patients with Spinal Cord Injuries: Mobilization of Potential Neuroprogenitors and Clinical Outcome in a Case Series
    AU  - Mingyuan Wu
    AU  - Sonja Moldenhauer
    AU  - Matthias Duetsch
    AU  - Thomas Scheffel
    AU  - Rainer Hellweg
    AU  - Andreas Holloschi
    AU  - Frank Rainer Abel
    AU  - Wei Han
    AU  - Anja Moldenhauer
    Y1  - 2021/06/04
    PY  - 2021
    N1  - https://doi.org/10.11648/j.ijcm.20210502.12
    DO  - 10.11648/j.ijcm.20210502.12
    T2  - International Journal of Chinese Medicine
    JF  - International Journal of Chinese Medicine
    JO  - International Journal of Chinese Medicine
    SP  - 29
    EP  - 37
    PB  - Science Publishing Group
    SN  - 2578-9473
    UR  - https://doi.org/10.11648/j.ijcm.20210502.12
    AB  - Background: Spinal cord injuries (SCI) often lead to devastating loss of neurological functions. Among other therapeutic methods, acupuncture is applied to support recovery. In former studies with healthy volunteers, we demonstrated an acupuncture-induced mobilization of potential neuroprogenitors. We hypothesized that this might also occur in patients with SCI and thereby improve regeneration. Methods: Four patients with SCI were acupunctured 15 times over a period of eight weeks. Before and after each acupuncture, CD133+34– cells were determined as potential neuroprogenitors by flow cytometry. By means of Elisa, we measured matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP-9), which is suggested to be involved in the mobilization of progenitor cells, and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a neurotrophin regulating neurogenesis. Patients’ motor and sensory functions were determined by American Spinal Injury Association Impairment Scale (AIS), and the quality of life was assessed using short form (SF)-36. Results: We observed that the number of potential neuroprogenitors increased gradually in peripheral blood over the eight weeks’ course of acupuncture treatment with a concomitant increase of MMP-9 and decrease in BDNF (p<0.05). Patients felt an improved sensory function and showed a positive perception of acupuncture treatment, while no clear changes in motor function were documented. Conclusion: Our results suggest that acupuncture induces the mobilization of potential neuroprogenitors in SCI patients, improvement of subjective sensory function and a better quality of life. Whether and to what extent acupuncture supports regeneration needs to be verified in future studies. Study registration: ISRCTN, ISRCTN71857369, retrospectively registered 18 February 2019, http://www.isrctn.com/ISRCTN71857369).
    VL  - 5
    IS  - 2
    ER  - 

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Author Information
  • Engineering Research Center of Cell & Therapeutic Antibody, Ministry of Education, School of Pharmacy, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China

  • Clinic for Acupuncture, Erlangen, Germany

  • Clinic for Neurology, Erlangen, Germany

  • Laboratory for Neurotrophins and Clinical Neurobiology, Charite– Universitaetsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany

  • Laboratory for Neurotrophins and Clinical Neurobiology, Charite– Universitaetsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany

  • Institute for Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Applied Sciences Mannheim, Mannheim, Germany

  • Krankenhaus Hohe Warte, Bayreuth, Germany

  • Laboratory of Regeneromics, School of Pharmacy, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China

  • Institute for Clinical Hemostaseology and Transfusion Medicine, Saarland University, Homburg, Germany; Institute for Transplantation Diagnostics and Cell Therapeutics, Heinrich-Heine-University, Duesseldorf,

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