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Journal of Integrative Medicine ›› 2021, Vol. 19 ›› Issue (3): 191-202.doi: 10.1016/j.joim.2021.01.008

• Review •     Next Articles

Traditional Chinese medicine is a useful and promising alternative strategy for treatment of Sjogren's syndrome: A review

Shu-jun Wei a, Qing-man He b, Qing Zhang c, Kang-hua Fu b, Ruo-lan Li c, Wei Peng c, Yong-xiang Gao d   

  1. a School of Basic Medicine, Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chengdu 611130, Sichuan Province, China
    b Hospital of Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chengdu 610072, Sichuan Province, China
    c School of Pharmacy, Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chengdu 611130, Sichuan Province, China
    d International Education College, Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chengdu 610075, Sichuan Province, China
  • Received:2020-06-03 Accepted:2021-01-14 Online:2021-05-12 Published:2021-01-14
  • Contact: Peng Wei, E-mail address:; Yong-xiang Gao, E-mail address:

Primary Sjogren's syndrome (pSS) is a chronic autoimmune disease involving exocrine glands. Current studies have found that the occurrence of the disease is closely related to genetic, environmental and neuroendocrine factors, as well as abnormal activation of T and B lymphocytes. The etiology and pathogenesis of pSS is complex, and there is a lack of specific targeted drugs. Traditional Chinese medicines (TCMs) have been comprehensively investigated for their treatment effects on pSS. Through a systematic review of the literature, we summarized the TCMs used to treat pSS, and find that there are four major ways that TCMs are used, including upregulation of aquaporin proteins, suppression of cell apoptosis, suppression of the abnormal activation of B lymphocytes and suppression of the abnormal activation of T lymphocytes (balancing T helper type [Th]1/Th2 & Th17/Treg and suppressing follicular helper T [Tfh] cells). However, there are not enough data about the active constituents, quality control, pharmacokinetics, toxicity and modern preparations of these TCMs; therefore, more investigations are needed. This paper highlights the importance of TCMs for treating pSS and provides guidance for future investigations.

Key words: Primary Sjogren's syndrome, Autoimmune diseases, Traditional Chinese medicine, Alternative and complementary medicine

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