Objective: To explore the effect of moxibustion pretreatment on the immune function of athletes during the courses of heavy load training.
Methods: Twelve male middle-distance race athletes were randomly divided into an observation group (n = 6) and a control group (n= 6). In observation group, mild moxibustion was applied at Guanyuan (CV 4), Zusanli (ST 36) or Guanyuan (CV 4), Sanyinjiao (SP 6) alternatively once daily, for 4 weeks. In control group, there was no any intervention. The expressions of gamma-interferon (IFN-gamma) and interleukin-4 (IL-4) were detected by realtime fluorescent quantitative PCR method before heavy load training, after 3 weeks of treatment, after 1 week adjusting training.
Results: (1) The ratios of Testosterone/Cortisol (T/C) of (0.017 +/- 0.003) in the control group and of (0.021 +/- 0. 007) in the observation group after heavy load training for three weeks were significant lower than 0.036 +/- 0.009 and 0.037 +/- 0.013 before heavy load training in the same group, respectively (both P < 0.01) (2) IFN-gamma mRNA of (2.76 +/- 1.28) and ratio of IFN-gamma mRNA/IL-4 mRNA of (3.28 +/- 1.76) in the control group after heavy load training for three weeks were significant higher than 1.75 +/- 0.44 and 1.52 +/- 0.76 before heavy load training, respectively (both P < 0.05), and ratio of IFN-gamma mRNA/IL-4 mRNA of (0.86 +/- 0.66) after adjusting training for 1 week reduced significantly as compared with that after heavy load training for three weeks (P < 0.05). (3) In the observation group, IFN-gamma mRNA, IL-4 mRNA and ratio of IFN-gamma mRNA/IL-4 mRNA increased firstly and then restore with the time, but these changes had no significant differences (all P > 0.05).
Conclusion: Moxibustion pretreatment can prevent Th1/Th2 imbalance of male middle-distance race athlete during the course of heavy load training.