Protective effect of Sheng-Nao-Kang decoction on focal cerebral ischemia-reperfusion injury in rats

Lin Chen, Ye Zhao, Tianlong Zhang, Xuan Dang, Renming Xie, Zhenzhi Li, Yang Li, Yuli Li, Wenna Zhao, Hongru Song
Journal of Ethnopharmacology 2014, 151 (1): 228-36

ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE: Sheng-Nao-Kang decoction (SNK), a modified traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), has been used clinically for the treatment of acute and chronic cerebrovascular related diseases. To evaluate the protective effect of SNK on focal cerebral ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) injury in rats and investigate the underlying mechanisms.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Focal cerebral I/R injury in rats was induced by middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) for 2h followed by reperfusion for 24h. Adult male Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats were randomly divided into six kinds of groups: Sham group; I/R group; SNK-treated groups at doses of 0.7 g/kg, 1.4 g/kg and 2.8 g/kg; and nimodipine (NMP)-treated group. The recoveries of neurological function in rats were estimated by neurological defect scoring and 2,3,5-triphenyltetrazolium chloride (TTC) staining after 24h reperfusion. Various biochemical indexes in serum were assayed by colorimetry, including malondialdehyde (MDA), superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px), inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and total nitric oxide synthase (TNOS). Histological structures of the brain in rats were observed by hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) staining. Immunohistochemistry was performed to detect the caspase-3 protein content in rats.

RESULTS: SNK administration significantly reduced the neurological defect scores and lessened the cerebral infarction volume. The treatment of SNK lowered MDA content, up-regulated SOD and GSH-Px levels, down-regulated iNOS and TNOS levels in serum. Furthermore, histological examination indicated that dense neuropil and largely surviving neurons were seen in SNK-treated rats. SNK administration restrained the expression of caspase-3 positive protein significantly.

CONCLUSION: The results suggest that SNK demonstrates a strong and ameliorative effect on cerebral I/R damage in rats. The protective mechanisms of SNK are associated with its properties of anti-apoptosis and anti-oxidation as well as regulation of iNOS and TNOS.

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