Effects of Acupuncture on 1-chloro-2,4-dinitrochlorobenzene-induced Allergic Contact Dermatitis in Mice

J Acupunct Meridian Stud. 2017 Aug;10(4):252-260. doi: 10.1016/j.jams.2017.06.004. Epub 2017 Jul 11.


Allergic contact dermatitis (ACD) is a chronic inflammatory skin disease. Topical corticosteroids are the first-line therapy for ACD despite their significant adverse effects. Acupuncture has been widely used in the treatment of various skin diseases, but its underlying mechanism remains unrevealed. In this study, we investigated the characteristics of acupuncture treatment based on effectiveness and mechanism. BALB/c mice received 1-chloro-2,4-dinitrobenzene (DNCB) application to build AD-like model. Results showed that acupuncture was an effective treatment method in inhibiting inflammatory conditions, serum IgE levels, and expression of proinflammatory cytokine Th2 (IL-4, IL-6), and Th2 (IL-1β, TNF-α) mRNA compared with DNCB treatment. Acupuncture treatment also inhibited nuclear factor-κB p65, phosphorylation of IκBα, and phosphorylation of occludin proteins expression. Furthermore, it could improve the expression of epidermal growth factor in both mRNA and protein levels. These results suggest that acupuncture, as an alternative therapy treatment for its no significant side effects, was effective in alleviating ACD by reducing proinflammatory cytokines and changing proteins' expression.

Keywords: DNCB; acupuncture; allergic contact dermatitis; mice.

MeSH terms

  • Acupuncture Therapy*
  • Animals
  • Cytokines / analysis
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Dermatitis, Allergic Contact / immunology
  • Dermatitis, Allergic Contact / pathology
  • Dermatitis, Allergic Contact / physiopathology
  • Dermatitis, Allergic Contact / therapy*
  • Dinitrochlorobenzene / adverse effects
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Epidermal Growth Factor / analysis
  • Epidermal Growth Factor / metabolism
  • Female
  • Immunoglobulin E / analysis
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Occludin / analysis
  • Occludin / metabolism
  • Skin / chemistry
  • Skin / drug effects
  • Skin / pathology


  • Cytokines
  • Dinitrochlorobenzene
  • Occludin
  • Immunoglobulin E
  • Epidermal Growth Factor