In Persian medicine (PM), wet-cupping therapy (WCT) is the most utilized approach. WCT is mostly done between the shoulders, which is referred to as “hejamt-e-aam” in the Persian language. CD4+T cells also refer to T helper lymphocytes play a critical role in the immune system. Naïve CD4+ T cells differentiate into at least four subsets, T helper 1 (Th1), T helper 2 (Th2), T helper 17 (Th17), and T regulatory (Treg) cells. The master regulator controlling each subset have been defined as follows, Tbet (Th1), Gata3 (Th2), RORγt (Th17), FoxP3 (Treg). The purpose of this study was to compare the effect of WCT and dry-cupping therapy (DCT) on the ratios of Th1/Th2 and Treg /Th17 in healthy individuals.
Participants were divided randomly into two groups of 41 men in the WCT group and 40 men in the DCT group. Blood was taken, before, one and four weeks after the intervention. RNA was extracted from the peripheral blood mononuclear cells and the expression of T-bet, GATA-3, RORγt, and Foxp3 genes were determined by using SYBR green RT-PCR technique.
The results showed that WCT increased the expression ofGATA-3, RORγt, and Foxp3 transcription factor genes (p=0.009, p=0.001, and p=0.021, respectively). Although in the WCT group, the ratio of Foxp3/RORγt increased (p=0.048), but the ratio of T-bet/GATA-3 (Th1/Th2) decreased (p=0.971).
Our findings indicated that WCT may regulate the T subsets of lymphocyte and reduce inflammation.