Kristen Sparrow • April 17, 2021
This should be a big deal? These animal experiments that look at different immune factors could be irrelevant to humans, but when it comes to cancer, perhaps we should be taking a closer look. Also gratifying that they were able to link it to the vagus nerve and the dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus (DMV). This may be a part of the NEI, neuroendocrine-immune system whereby stimulus in the skin activates local immune function but also travels through nerves to the spinal canal and up to the brain and back down through the autonomic nervous system to feedback.
“EA intervention relieved tumor progression in breast tumor-bearing mice by alleviating inflammation and enhancing antitumor immunity, which was mediated by eliciting efferent vagus nerve activity.”
Zhiyun Zhang, Qingquan Yu, Xiaoning Zhang, Xiaoyu Wang, Yangshuai Su, Wei He, Jie Li, Hongye Wan, Xianghong Jing,
Electroacupuncture regulates inflammatory cytokines by activating the vagus nerve to enhance antitumor immunity in mice with breast tumors,
Life Sciences,Volume 272,
The aim of this study was to explore the potential effect of electroacupuncture (EA) at ST36 on mice bearing breast tumors by regulating inflammatory cytokines to enhance antitumor immunity via vagus nerve.
Materials and methods
Female BALB/c mice were implanted with 4T1-luc2 breast tumor cells to establish a murine mammary cancer model. Tumor growth was evaluated by tumor volume, weight and bioluminescence imaging. Inflammatory conditions in serum and tumor tissue were assessed by cytokines (IL-1β, TNF-α and IL-10) and HE staining. Proportions and functions of CD8+ T cells, NK cells and MDSCs were identified by flow cytometry and western blot. Involvement of vagal efferent components was confirmed by ChAT and c-Fos double labeling immunohistochemistry in dorsal motor nucleus of vagus (DMV). Subdiaphragmatic vagotomy was employed to determine if the effect of EA was mediated by vagus nerve.
EA at ST36 reduced the volume and weight of tumors within 22 days after implantation. Proinflammatory cytokines IL-1β and TNF-α in serum, tumor and local inflammatory infiltration were obviously attenuated after EA. Meanwhile, EA intervention significantly augmented the proportion and cytolytic function of CD8+ T cells and NK cells, along with a decline in the accumulation and immunosuppressive activities of MDSCs. Finally, c-Fos expression in ChAT+ neurons in DMV increased following EA, and the ameliorating effect of EA was obviously blocked by subdiaphragmatic vagotomy.
EA intervention relieved tumor progression in breast tumor-bearing mice by alleviating inflammation and enhancing antitumor immunity, which was mediated by eliciting efferent vagus nerve activity.
Keywords: Electroacupuncture; Breast cancer; Inflammation; Antitumor immunity; Vagus nerve