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Mast cells are widely distributed in various parts of the human body and play a vital role in the progression of many diseases. Recently, the close relationship between mast cells and acupoints was elucidated, and the role of mast cells in acupuncture analgesia has attracted the attention of researchers worldwide. Using mast cells, acupuncture analgesia and acupoint as key words to search CNKI, PubMed, Web of Science and other databases, combining the representative articles in these databases with the published research papers of our group, we summarized: The enrichment of mast cells and the dense arrangement of collagen fibers, microvessels, and nerves form the basis for acupoints as the reaction sites of acupuncture; acupuncture can cause the deformation of collagen fibers and activate TRPV channels on mast cells membrane, so as to stimulate mast cells to release bioactive substances and activate nerve receptors to generate analgesic effect; system biology models are set up to explain the quantitative process of information initiation and transmission at acupuncture points, and indicate that the acupuncture effect depends on the local mast cells density. In a conclusion, this review will give a scientific explanation of acupuncture analgesia from the material basis of acupoints, the local initiation, and afferent biological mechanism.


Yingchen Li, Yi Yu, Yuhang Liu, Wei Yao. Mast Cells and Acupuncture Analgesia. Cells. 2022 Mar 02;11(5)

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PMID: 35269483

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