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Chiropractic Therapy Modulated Gut Microbiota and Attenuated Allergic Airway Inflammation in an Immature Rat Model

Yan Zhu, Ying Xiong, Yun Gu, Qain Li, Yu Liu

Graduate College, Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China (mainland)

Med Sci Monit 2020; 26:e926039

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.926039

Available online: 2020-08-11

Published: 2020-09-29

BACKGROUND: As a type of traditional Chinese massage, chiropractic therapy is applied to prevent and treat children with asthma in China. However, its mechanism of action is unclear. Allergic airway inflammation plays a key role in the occurrence and development of asthma, in which changes in gut microbiota are involved. The present study investigated the influence of chiropractic therapy on allergic airway inflammation (AAI) and gut microbiota in an immature rat model.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Three-week-old male Sprague-Dawley rats were divided randomly into control (CN), AAI, and chiropractic (CP) groups. AAI and CP groups were sensitized and challenged with ovalbumin (OVA) to induce AAI. The CP group received chiropractic therapy during AAI modelling. AAI was assessed by cell counts in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid and HE staining of lung tissues. Plasma OVA-sIgE, IFN-γ, IL-4, and IL-10 levels were detected by ELISA. DNA extraction from feces samples was used for 16S rRNA gene sequencing and analyzed for gut microbiota by Quantitative Insights Into Microbial Ecology (QIIME).
RESULTS: AAI group had significantly lower richness and diversity of gut microbiota along with Th2 response and allergic airway inflammation. Moreover, the AAI group had lower abundance of butyrate-producing bacterial taxa with more Lactobacillus. Chiropractic therapy significantly increased the richness and diversity of gut microbiota and increased butyrate-producing bacterial taxa and decreased Lactobacillus, along with attenuating Th2 response and allergic airway inflammation during AAI modelling.
CONCLUSIONS: Chiropractic therapy attenuated allergic airway inflammation and optimized gut microbiota in an immature rat model, which might promote the development of adult-like butyrogenic milieu, immunotolerance, and inflammation attenuation.

Keywords: Asthma, Massage, microbiota