To observe the effect of moxibustion on respiratory function and contents of histamine and neuropeptides in skin tissue of “Feishu” (BL13) in asthmatic rats, so as to explore its mechanisms underlying improvement of asthma.
Thirty-six SD rats were randomly divided into normal control, model and moxibustion groups, with 12 rats in each group. The asthma model was established by subcutaneous injection (at the back and groin, 0.5 mL) and i.p. injection (1 mL)of mixture solution of ovalbumin (OVA), Aluminium Hydroxide gel and 0.9% sodium chloride solution, and repeated nasal drip of 1% OVA. Moxibustion was applied to bilateral BL13 for 15 min, once daily for 14 days. The inspiratory and expiratory resistance, and pulmonary ventilation compliance were detected by using a small animal pulmonary function tester under anesthesia. The contents of histamine, vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP), substance P (SP) and calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) in the local skin tissue of the left BL13 were assayed by using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).
After modeling, the inspiratory and expiratory resistance were significantly increased (<0.01), and the lung ventilation compliance was significantly decreased in the model group relevant to the normal control group (<0.01). Outcomes of ELISA showed that the content of VIP was significantly lower (<0.01), and those of histamine, SP and CGRP in the skin of left BL13 were significantly increased in the model group relevant to the normal control group (<0.01). Following the intervention, the inspiratory and expiratory resis-tance, cutaneous histamine, SP and CGRP contents were significantly decreased (<0.01), while the lung ventilation compliance and cutaneous VIP level were significantly increased in the moxibustion group in contrast to the model group (<0.01, <0.05).
Moxibustion of BL13 can improve pulmonary function in asthma rats, which may be related to changes of levels of histamine and neuropeptides as VIP, SP and CGRP in the local skin tissues of BL13.