Moxibustion may have protective effects on the stomach mucous membrane against stress gastric ulcer.
The potential mechanism of moxibustion may be mediated by transforming growth factor-α, gastric mucosa cell proliferation, inhibition of apoptosis, and the expression of heat shock protein-70.
Previous studies have shown that somatic sensation by acupuncture and visceral nociceptive stimulation can converge in the nucleus tractus solitarii (NTS) where neurons integrate signals impacting on the function of organs.
To explore the role of the NTS in the protective mechanism of pre-moxibustion on gastric mucosa, Dr. Liang Peng and co-workers from College of Acupuncture and Tuina, Hunan University of Chinese Medicine in China pointed out that moxibustion pretreatment at the Zusanli point is protective against acute gastric mucosa injury, and NTS damage inhibits these responses.
Nucleus tractus solitarii damage is shown by hematoxylin-eosin staining. Arrows indicate nucleus damage (block of nerve conduction, caused by the induced damage).
Image credit: Neural Regeneration Research
Therefore, the NTS may be an important area for regulating the signal transduction of the protective effect of pre-moxibustion on gastric mucosa. The relevant paper has been published in Neural Regeneration Research (Vol. 9, No. 2, 2014).
Article: " Role of the nucleus tractus solitarii in the protection of pre-moxibustion on gastric mucosal lesions," by Liang Peng, Mi Liu, Xiaorong Chang, Zhou Yang, Shouxiang Yi, Jie Yan, Yan Peng (College of Acupuncture and Tuina, Hunan University of Chinese Medicine, Changsha 410007, Hunan Province, China)
Peng L, Liu M, Chang XR, Yang Z, Yi SX, Yan J, Peng Y. Role of the nucleus tractus solitarii in the protection of pre-moxibustion on gastric mucosal lesions. Neural Regen Res. 2014;9(2):198-204.