Published: 6:00PM BST 30 May 2010
The identification of the chemical adenosine as a central player could also make the ancient Chinese therapy even more effective at relieving pain.
Scientists were able to triple the beneficial effects of simply sticking needles in mice by adding a leukaemia medication that increased their amounts of the molecule.
Dr Maiken Nedergaard, a neuroscientist at the University of Rochester, New York, said: “Acupuncture has been a mainstay of medical treatment in certain parts of the world for 4,000 years, but because it has not been understood completely, many people have remained sceptical.
“In this work, we provide information about one physical mechanism through which acupuncture reduces pain in the body. Read entire article