Reducing the biological activities of proinflammatory cytokines can reduce the brunt of attack of diseases mediated by proinflammatory cytokines. Blocking IL-1 or TNF has been highly successful in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, or graft-vs-host disease. However, the strategy has not been successful in humans with sepsis. The therapeutic effects of acupuncture may be related to its ability to suppress a range of proinflammatory cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor alpha, IL1B, interleukin 6, and interleukin 10.
^Cheung CY, Poon LL, Lau AS, Luk W, Lau YL, Shortridge KF, Gordon S, Guan Y, Peiris JS (Dec 2002). "Induction of proinflammatory cytokines in human macrophages by influenza A (H5N1) viruses: a mechanism for the unusual severity of human disease?". Lancet360 (9348): 1831–7. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(02)11772-7. PMID12480361.
^Wang XM, Walitt B, Saligan L, Tiwari AF, Cheung CW, Zhang ZJ (Mar 2015). "Chemobrain: a critical review and causal hypothesis of link between cytokines and epigenetic reprogramming associated with chemotherapy". Cytokine72 (1): 86–96. doi:10.1016/j.cyto.2014.12.006. PMID25573802. Even acupuncture may have therapeutic potential considering its effects on suppressing proinflammatory cytokines, TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6, and IL-10