Background: We assessed the therapeutic effect of acupuncture in patients with perennial allergic rhinitis. Acupuncture therapy corrects the equilibrium deviation using the bidirectional regulative actions in treating syndromes by inserting needles into acupoints. Objectives: We studied the clinical outcomes and gene expression profiles of Phadiatop (Ph)-positive (+) and -negative (-) allergic rhinitis patients who were treated with acupuncture. Methods: Twenty-one (21) patients with allergic rhinitis [13 Ph(+), 8 Ph(-)] received 8 courses of acupuncture treatment over 4 weeks. Blood samples of the patients were collected during the course of acupuncture for global analysis of gene expression profiles by Affymetrix human U133A chips. Patients completed the rhinoconjunctivitis quality of life questionnaire (RQLQ) before and after the therapy to objectively measure the therapeutic effect of acupuncture. The gene expression profile in patients with Ph(+) and Ph(-) allergic rhinitis treated before and after acupuncture was analyzed by unsupervised and supervised clustering methods. Results: The results of the RQLQ and the gene expression profiles were different between the Ph(+) and Ph(-) groups after receiving treatment with acupuncture. Activity, practical problems, and nasal symptoms showed significant improvement in the Ph(+) group versus the Ph(-) group. In addition, genes involved in active immune response, differential of Treg and cell apoptosis, were different in the Ph(+) and Ph(-) groups after acupuncture treatment. Conclusions: Differential gene expression profiles of patients with Ph(+) and Ph(-) allergic rhinitis indicate the distinct physiologic responses after receiving acupuncture treatment in these two groups. Our results suggest that personalized medical treatment should be essential for acupuncture treatment in patients with allergic rhinitis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas