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Acute combined cerebrolysin and nicotinamide administration promote cognitive recovery through neuronal changes in the hippocampus of rats with permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion.

Neuroscience 2024 May 10
Stroke is one of the leading causes of disability worldwide, where the Hippocampus (HPC) is affected. HPC organizes memory, which is a cognitive domain compromised after a stroke, where cerebrolysin (CBL) and Nicotinamide (NAM) have been recognized as potentially therapeutic. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the efficacy of a combined administration of CBL and NAM in a rat stroke model. Male Sprague-Dawley rats (n = 36) were divided into four groups: saline (pMCAO - Saline), CBL (pMCAO + CBL), NAM (pMCAO + NAM), and experimental (pMCAO + CBL-NAM) (n = 9 per group). A permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion (pMCAO) was induced through electrocauterization of the middle cerebral artery, followed by the administration of CBL (2.5 ml/kg), NAM (500 mg/kg) or combined immediately after skin suture, as well as at 24, 48, and 72 hours post-surgery. The rats were evaluated in the novel object recognition test; hippocampal infarct area measurement; reconstruction of neurons from CA1 for Sholl analysis; and, measurement of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels near the infarct zone. Our findings revealed that the administration of CBL or NAM induced infarct reduction, improved cognition, and increased BDNF levels. Moreover, a combination of CBL and NAM increased dendritic intersection in CA1 pyramidal neurons. Thus, the combined administration of CBL and NAM can promote cognitive recovery after a stroke, with infarct reduction, cytoarchitectural changes in HPC CA1 neurons, and BDNF increase. Our findings suggest that this combination therapy could be a promising intervention strategy for stroke.

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