Regulatory effect of cytokine production in asthma patients by SOOJI CHIM (Koryo Hand Acupuncture Therapy)

Immunopharmacol Immunotoxicol. 2002 May;24(2):265-74. doi: 10.1081/iph-120003759.


Acupuncture has become quite familiar to many Koreans not only for pain, but also for many other health problems, both in acute and chronic conditions. Actually, acupuncture is a therapeutic technique that is part of a larger system of traditional oriental medicine. There are several styles of acupuncture. We investigated the regulatory effects of cytokine production in peripheral blood of asthma patients (AP) by SOOJI CHIM (Koryo Hand Acupuncture Therapy, KHT). Clinical signs of asthma disappeared markedly by KHT. The mean interleukin (IL)-2 and IL-6 plasma levels were lower in the AP group than in the normal group, whereas the mean interferon (IFN)-gamma, IL-4, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha levels were higher in the AP group. Plasma IFN-gamma and IL-2 levels derived from T helper (Th)1 cells and IL-4 levels derived from Th2 cells were elevated in the AP group by KHT. Especially, plasma IL-6 levels derived from Th2 cells were elevated significantly in the AP group by KHT. Reduced plasma levels of TNF-alpha were observed in the AP group by KHT. Plasma IgE levels were also measured but there were no significant differences from each other. During the KHT, there were no other adverse effects. These results indicate that KHT has a good asthma treatment effect, and that its action may be due to the regulation of cytokine production.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acupuncture Therapy / methods*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Asthma / immunology*
  • Asthma / therapy*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cytokines / biosynthesis*
  • Cytokines / blood
  • Female
  • Hand
  • Humans
  • Interferon-gamma / blood
  • Interleukin-2 / blood
  • Interleukin-4 / blood
  • Interleukin-6 / blood
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Th1 Cells / immunology
  • Th2 Cells / immunology
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / biosynthesis


  • Cytokines
  • Interleukin-2
  • Interleukin-6
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Interleukin-4
  • Interferon-gamma