Punicalagin attenuated cerebral ischemia-reperfusion insult via inhibition of proinflammatory cytokines, up-regulation of Bcl-2, down-regulation of Bax, and caspase-3

Lavanya Yaidikar, Santhrani Thakur
Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry 2015, 402 (1-2): 141-8
Punicalagin (PG) is a hydrolysable tannin compound found in Punica granatum L. The purpose of the present work is to explore the neuroprotective mechanism of PG against ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) injury in rat model of middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO). Rats were randomly divided into sham, MCAO, and PG-treated groups. PG (15 and 30 mg/kg), the vehicle was administered orally for 7 days prior to MCAO. Rats were anesthetised with ketamine (100 mg/kg/im), xylazine (10 mg/kg/im) and subjected to 2 h occlusion and 22 h reperfusion. The effects of PG on behavioral deficit and infarct volume, the levels of glutamate and calcium as well as the levels of inflammatory cytokines tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interleukin-1β (IL-1β), interleukin-6 (IL-6) were evaluated. Moreover, the expressions of caspase-3, Bcl-2, and Bax were detected by Western blotting. As compared with MCAO group, PG-treated rats showed dose-dependent reduction in infarct volume and substantial improvement in behavioral deficit. The levels of glutamate, calcium, TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-6 were restored significantly. The Western blotting results revealed that the expression of Bcl-2 was up-regulated and that of caspase-3, Bax were down-regulated when exposed to PG. From our results, it can be concluded that PG showed an ameliorative effect against cerebral I/R injury in rats through its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant actions besides it inhibits excitotoxicity. It also suppresses apoptosis through regulating, Bcl-2, caspase-3, and Bax protein expressions, perhaps another mechanism by which PG employs its neuroprotective action.

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