Study on cytokines IL-2, IL-6, IL-10 in patients of chronic allergic rhinitis treated with acupuncture

J Tradit Chin Med. 2002 Jun;22(2):104-11.


Objectives: To observe the plasmatic concentration of IL-6, IL-10 and IL-2 in the patient of chronic allergic rhinitis before and after acupuncture therapy.

Methods: Cytokine levels were determined before and after treatment in 30 healthy volunteers (Group A) and 90 patients of chronic allergic rhinitis (Group B) with an increased plasma IL-10 level. Group B was then divided into 3 subgroups: 30 patients treated with real acupuncture (Group B1); 30 patients treated with sham acupuncture (Group B2); 30 non-treated patients (Group B3).

Results: The allergic subjects of group B1, compared with controls, showed a significant reduction of IL-10 after a specific treatment with acupuncture (P < 0.05). On the other hand, in those patients treated with sham acupuncture (B2) as well as in non-treated patients (B3), the IL-10 values remained high and unchanged. There was a statistically significant change in IL-2 values at 24 hours (P < 0.05) after real acupuncture (Groups A, B1), however the values remained within normal ranges. The IL-6 do not change after therapy.

Conclusion: The acupuncture treatment can reduce plasmatic level of IL-10 in chronic allergic rhinitis.

MeSH terms

  • Acupuncture Therapy*
  • Adult
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-10 / blood*
  • Interleukin-2 / blood
  • Interleukin-6 / blood
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Perennial / blood
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Perennial / therapy*


  • Interleukin-2
  • Interleukin-6
  • Interleukin-10