Search JIM Advanced Search

Journal of Integrative Medicine ›› 2021, Vol. 19 ›› Issue (3): 251-257.doi: 10.1016/j.joim.2021.02.001

• Original Experimental Research • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Effects of moxibustion on Treg cells in sarcoma microenvironment

Li-jun Lia, Yu-chong Shib, Min-xiang Luo1, Chang-lin Zhaoc   

  1. a Department of Acupuncture, Guangdong Clifford Hospital, Guangzhou 511495, Guangdong Province, China
    b School of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Jinan University, Guangzhou 510632, Guangdong Province, China 
    c Health Science College, Guangdong Pharmaceutical University, Guangzhou 510006, Guangdong Province, China 
  • Received:2020-04-21 Accepted:2020-11-17 Online:2021-05-12 Published:2021-04-20
  • Contact: Chang-lin Zhao


To investigate the therapeutic effect of moxibustion on sarcomas from mesenchymal tissues, which have a low response rate to chemotherapy and radiotherapy.


S180 sarcoma cell line was inoculated in C57BL/6 mice to form transplanted tumor. Moxibustion therapy was directly applied at the transplanted tumor sites, at a distance of 3.0 cm, 10 min per session, till skin temperature reached 45 °C, once a day, for 14 consecutive days of intervention. After the mice were killed, serum was collected and used to detect concentrations of interleukin-10 (IL-10), transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1), IL-4 and interferon-γ (IFN-γ) by Luminex liquid suspension chip. The numbers of Treg+ T cells and CD4+CD25+Foxp3+ T cells were detected by flow cytometry. Fluorescence in situ hybridization was used to analyze the changes of CD4, CD8, Forkhead Box P3 (Foxp3) and TGF-β1 in the tumor microenvironment (TME).


Weight of S180 transplanted tumor in the control group was (2.03 ± 0.54) g, and that in the moxibustion group was (1.27 ± 0.29) g, which was statistically different (P = 0.023). The mean value of Foxp3+ T cells in the normal group was 2.01%, which increased to 3.63% after the formation of transplanted tumor, and decreased to 1.48% after moxibustion treatment. The moxibustion group also had reduced numbers of CD4+CD25+Foxp3+ T cells in the spleen of mice with transplanted tumor. The concentrations of IL-10, TGF-β1 and IL-4 decreased in the serum of mice with transplanted tumor, while the concentration of IFN-γ increased. Moxibustion was associated with down-regulation in expression of Foxp3IL-10 and TGF-β1 genes in the transplanted tumor, and increases in the gene expression of CD4+ T cells and CD8+ T cells in the TME.


Moxibustion may have therapeutic effects on sarcomas by reducing the number of Treg cells in the blood and controlling the infiltration of Treg cells in the TME.

Key words: Sarcoma, Moxibustion, Treg cells, Tumor microenvironment

No related articles found!
Full text



[1] Wei-xiong Liang. Problems-solving strategies in clinical treatment guideline for traditional Chinese medicine and integrative medicine. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2008, 6(1): 1-4
[2] Zhao-guo Li. Discussion on English translation of commonly used sentences in traditional Chinese medicine: part one. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2008, 6(1): 107-110
[3] Jun Hu, Jian-ping Liu. Non-invasive physical treatments for chronic/recurrent headache. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2008, 6(1): 31
[4] Xue-mei Liu, Qi-fu Huang, Yun-ling Zhang, Jin-li Lou, Hong-sheng Liu, Hong Zheng. Effects of Tribulus terrestris L. saponion on apoptosis of cortical neurons induced by hypoxia-reoxygenation in rats. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2008, 6(1): 45-50
[5] . Uniform requirements for manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals: Writing and editing for biomedical publication (Chinese version, part two). Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2010, 8(11): 1001-1005
[6] Daniel Weber, Janelle M Wheat, Geoffrey M Currie. Inflammation and cancer: Tumor initiation, progression and metastasis,and Chinese botanical medicines. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2010, 8(11): 1006-1013
[7] Hong Liu , Guo-liang Zhang, Li Shen , Zhen Zeng, Bao-luo Zhou, Cheng-hai Liu, Guang Nie . Application and evaluation of a pseudotyped virus assay for screening herbs for anti-H5Nl avian influenza virus. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2010, 8(11): 1036-1040
[8] Zhao-guo Li . A discussion of English translation of 1995 and 1997 Chinese National Standards of Traditional Chinese Medical Terminologies for Clinical Diagnosis and Treatment. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2010, 8(11): 1090-1096
[9] Rui Jin, Bing Zhang. A complexity analysis of Chinese herbal property theory: the multiple formations of herbal property (Part 1). Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2012, 10(11): 1198-1205
[10] Hui-min Liu, Xian-bo Wang, Yu-juan Chang, Li-li Gu. Systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials of integrative medicine therapy for treatment of chronic severe hepatitis. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2012, 10(11): 1211-1228