Published online Jul 28, 2022. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v28.i28.3644
Peer-review started: September 3, 2021
First decision: November 7, 2021
Revised: November 19, 2021
Accepted: June 24, 2022
Article in press: June 24, 2022
Published online: July 28, 2022
Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a chronic, nonspecific intestinal inflammatory disease with unclear etiology. Our previous studies have confirmed that acupuncture and moxibustion is effective in treating UC, but the mechanisms of treatment is still not completely clarified. Proteomic technology has revealed a variety of biological markers related to immunity and inflammation in UC, which provide new insights and directions for the study of mechanism of acupuncture and moxibustion treatment of UC.
The mechanisms of UC and the therapeutic targets of acupuncture and moxibustion treatment are complicated, and whether acupuncture and moxibustion play a therapeutic role in UC by regulating proteome changes remains unclear.
The present study aims to investigate the underlying mechanism of electroacupuncture (EA) and moxibustion on UC rats by using isotope-labeled relative and absolute quantification (iTRAQ) proteomics technology.
Male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into the normal (N) group, the DSS-induced UC model (M) group, the herb-partitioned moxibustion (HM) group, and the EA group. 3% DSS was used to establish the UC rat model except for the N group, and HM and EA at the Tianshu (bilateral) and Qihai acupoints were performed respectively. Haematoxylin and eosin staining was used for morphological evaluation of colon tissues. iTRAQ and liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry were performed for proteome analysis of the colon tissues, followed by bioinformatics analysis and protein-protein interaction networks establishment of differentially expressed proteins (DEPs) between groups. Then western blot was used for verification of selected DEPs.
Our study revealed that HM and EA could regulate the expression of multiple proteins in colon of DSS-induced UC model rat. The DEPs were involved in various biological processes such as biological regulation, immune system progression and in multiple pathways including natural killer cell mediated cytotoxicity, intestinal immune network for immunoglobulin A production, and FcγR-mediated phagocytosis. Network analysis revealed that multiple pathways for the DEPs of each group were involved in protein-protein interactions. Subsequent verification of selected DEPs [synaptic vesicle glycoprotein 2A, nuclear cap binding protein subunit 1, carbamoyl phosphate synthetase 1, cytochrome c oxidase subunit 4 isoform 1 (Cox4i1), ATP synthase beta subunit precursor (Atp5F1), doublecortin like kinase 3] by western blot confirmed the reliability of the iTRAQ data.
HM and EA might regulate immune-related pathways by regulating the expression of ATP5L, Atp5f1, Cox4i1 that associated with oxidative phosphorylation pathways, thereby alleviating colonic inflammation of DSS-induced UC rats.
The present study revealed the possible molecular mechanisms of acupuncture and moxibustion treatment on UC, it may provide new light on clinical therapy of acupuncture and moxibustion treatment of UC.