Medical Research

Mast cell and connective tissue interaction in acupuncture stimulation

Kristen Sparrow • December 20, 2014

This is a paper outlining the effect of mast cell degranulation and mechanical stimulus in the form of acupuncture stimulation.  Dr. Lundeberg at the Barcelona conference spoke about the far reaching immune effects of acupuncture stimulation also.  It makes me wonder if mast cell stabilizers would interfere with acupuncture treatment.
Int J Biol Sci. 2014 Apr 26;10(5):511-9.

Mast cell-nerve cell interaction at acupoint: modeling mechanotransduction pathway induced by acupuncture.

Yao W1, Yang H1, Yin N1, Ding G1.

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Mast cells are found abundant at sites of acupoints. Nerve cells share perivascular localization with mast cells. Acupuncture (mechanical stimuli) can activate mast cells to release adenosine triphosphate (ATP) which can activate nerve cells and modulates pain-processing pathways in response to acupuncture. In this paper, a mathematical model was constructed for describing intracellular Ca(2+) signal and ATP release in a coupled mast cell and nerve cell system induced by mechanical stimuli. The results showed mechanical stimuli lead to a intracellular Ca(2+) rise in the mast cell and ATP release, ATP diffuses in the extracellular space (ECS) and activates the nearby nerve cells, then induces electrical current in the nerve cell which spreads in the neural network. This study may facilitate our understanding of the mechanotransduction process induced by acupuncture and provide a methodology for quantitatively analyzing acupuncture treatment.