Medical Research

Injecting Acupoints with Autologous Blood Decreases Atopic Dermatitis.

Kristen Sparrow • August 28, 2022

I’ve wondered about this for awhile whether simply injecting with something safe, patient’s own blood, would lead to a more robust immune response. I had wondered whether saline alone would give more of a response than dry needling alone, but perhaps that would not be enough to stimulate the immune system.

In this animal study, they did both and compared to control mice.  I inserted the full description of the different groups in the abstract for easier reading and comprehension.

Both the autohemotherapy into specific acupuncture points (36 St and 11 LI) and into sham points nearby decreased the clinical dermatitis score and IgE levels.  These two groups plus the saline group improved the IFN-γ/IL-4 ratio.  Only the acupoint autohemotherapy improved the T helper cell ratios in the spleen.

There was another recent case study on this same topic.


Zeng ZW, Huang JQ, Chen Y, Yu X, Zhu W, Zhang DS. Acupoint Autohemotherapy Attenuates Atopic Dermatitis Lesions by Regulating Th1/Th2 Balance in DNCB-Induced BALB/c Mice. Chin J Integr Med. 2022 Jul;28(7):612-619. doi: 10.1007/s11655-022-3579-7. Epub 2022 Jul 1. PMID: 35776292.


Objective: To evaluate the therapeutic effects of acupoint autohemotherapy (A-AHT) on 1-chloro-2,4-dinitrobenzene (DNCB)-induced atopic dermatitis (AD) in mice focusing on regulating T helper 1/T helper 2 (Th1/Th2) immune responses.

Methods: Thirty BALB/c mice were divided into 5 groups by a random number table, including normal control (NC), AD (atopic dermatitis) model (AD), A-AHT (acupoint autohemotherapy), sham A-AHT (sA-AHT) sham autohemotherapy, and acupoint injection of normal saline (A-NS) groups, 6 mice per group. Mice were challenged by DNCB (1-chloro-2,4-dinitrobenzene) for the establishment of experimental AD (allergic dermatitis)  model. On the 8th day, except for the NC (normal control)  and AD (atopic dermatitis) groups, the mice in the other groups received management once every other day for a total of 28 days. For the A-AHT and sA-AHT groups, 0.05 mL of autologous whole blood (AWB) was injected into bilateral Zusanli (ST 36) and Quchi (LI 11) and sham-acupoints (5 mm lateral to ST 36 and LI 11), respectively. The A-NS group was administrated with 0.05 mL of normal saline by acupoint injection into ST 36 and LI 11. Dermatitis severity for dorsal skin of mice was determined using the Severity Scoring of Atopic Dermatitis (SCORAD) every week. The total immunoglobulin E (IgE), interleukin-4 (IL-4), and interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) cytokine levels in serum were examined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Spleen Th1/Th2 expression were analyzed via flow cytometry and immunohistochemical assay was used to detect T-box expressed in T cell (T-bet) and GATA-binding protein 3 (GATA3) expressions in skin lesions of mice.

Results: Compared with the AD group, both A-AHT and sA-AHT reduced the SCORAD index and serum IgE level (P<0.05 or P<0.01); A-AHT, sA-AHT and A-NS down-regulated serum IL-4 level and upregulated IFN-γ/IL-4 ratio (P<0.05 or P<0.01); A-AHT regulated the Th1/Th2 shift specifically and increased the related transcription factors such as T-bet expression and T-bet/GATA3 ratio (P<0.05).

Conclusion: A-AHT showed significant effectiveness on the AD model mice, through regulating Th1/Th2 immune responses.

Keywords: Th1/Th2; acupoint autohemotherapy; atopic dermatitis; immunoglobulin E.