Atherosclerosis (AS) is a kind of chronic progressive inflammatory disease, moxibustion is an increasingly popular alternative therapy that reduces the risk of AS by regulating blood lipid levels. Although moxibustion for AS is yet to be conducted, its underlying mechanism remains unclear. In this study, we investigated the anti-atherogenic effect of moxa combustion products processed under different conditions (moxa smoke, filtered moxa smoke, volatile components of moxa floss and essential oil of Artemisia Argyi).
The mice in all groups were regularly grabbed and fixed. The mice in moxa smoke group were exposed to 2% concentration of moxa smoke, the mice in filtered moxa smoke group were exposed to filtered moxa smoke environment, the mice in volatile components of moxa floss group were exposed to 150℃ moxa floss heating environment, the mice in essential oil of Artemisia Argyi group were exposed to Artemisia Argyi essential oilatomization environment. All interventions were carried out in the cabinet and were performed for 20 min per day, 6 days per week for 14 weeks. After the treatment, the mice were euthanased. The mice of plasma were measured by biochemical or ELISA method, the thoracic aorta was collected for red oil O staining. The mRNA levels in the thoracic aorta were analyzed by RT-qPCR.
The group moxa smoke group and filtered moxa smoke group showed a significantly lower plaque area percentage in the thoracic aorta, and higher expression of AMPK-mRNA and eNOS-mRNA in the thoracic aorta compared with the AS mice.
Moxa smoke and filtered moxa smoke equally suppressed the progression of atherosclerotic lesions in ApoE−/− mice. It is suggested that the particles in moxa smoke may not be the key component of moxibustion.