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Saturday, 8 March 2014

Phenomenon of Yin/Yang in human body

Tiejun Tang

Yin &Yang is the most important conception in the basic theory of traditional Chinese medicine. The theory Yin-Yang holds that every object or phenomena in the universe consists of two opposite aspects, which are in conflict and in interdependence. The relation between Yin & Yang is the universal law of the world. In side the human body everything has yin & yang. Normally yin/yang should keep balance, if yin/yang lost balance the disease will occur. The treatment principle is trying to make the yin/yang rebalance.

In modern physiology and pathology there are many phenomenon have the characteristic of yin/ yang. In Chinese medicine we balance the yin/yang by herbs and acupuncture, actually we are regulating the function of many systems. The table below shows some examples of yin/yang phenomenon in human body.

Autonomic nervous system
Sympathetic nerve
Parasympathetic nerve

Thyroid function

Pancreatic Glucagon

Immune system
TH cell

TS cell
Cancer pathology

Cell apoptosis
Apoptosis gene

Molecular biology
Cyclic adenosine 

 Cyclic guanosine

What is essence of yin & yang?  An American biochemists (Goldberg;1975) had put forward a cAMP/cGMP hypothesis.  A report from Columbia University (Shrivastava;1994) had found a gene of multifunctional transcriptional regulator which can regulate the balance of cAMP/cGMP. He named this gene as yin yang-1. In my opinion yin yang-1 probably is the first messenger of yin/yang, cAMP/cGMP is the second messenger of yin/yang in molecular signal transduction. They can activate many different protein kinases and produce different biologic functions (Tiejun Tang,2004). In pace with the development of modern science, more and more yin/yang phenomenon will be discovered.

1.     ND Goldberg, MK Haddox, SE Nicol, DB Glass, CH Sanford.  Biological regulation through opposing influences of a cGMP and cAMP. The yin yang Hypothesis. Advances in Cyclic Nucleotide Research, 1975; 5: 307-30.
2.     Shrivastava,-A; Calame,-K. An analysis of genes regulated by the multi-functional transcriptional regulator Yin Yang-1.  Nucleic-Acids-Res. 1994 ; 22(24): 5151-5.

3.     Tiejun Tang. The nuclear factor yin-yang 1 and the yin/yang theory of TCM  Shaanxi Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine. 2004253: 239-242.

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