Huperzine A attenuates mitochondrial dysfunction after middle cerebral artery occlusion in rats.
Mol Cell Biochem. 2007 Feb;296(1-2):85-95. Epub 2006 Sep 8. PMID: 18438924
Mitochondrial dysfunction has been proved to contribute to ischemia-induced brain damage. In this study, which used a rat middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) model, the protective effects of huperzine A (HupA) against mitochondrial dysfunction and brain damage were investigated. MCAO for 45 min followed by 4 hr of reperfusion significantly impaired the activities of mitochondrial respiratory chain enzymes (complex I, complex II-III, and complex IV) and alpha-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase, increased the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), and induced mitochondrial swelling. Pretreatment of HupA at 0.1 mg/kg significantly preserved respiratory chain enzyme activities, decreased ROS production, and attenuated mitochondrial swelling. It could also significantly attenuate the neurological deficits (after 4 or 24 hr reperfusion) and reduce infarct volumes (after 24 hr reperfusion). Moreover, HupA protected isolated nonsynaptosomal mitochondria from calcium-induced damage in vitro by preserving mitochondrial membrane potential and decreasing ROS production. Overall, the present study indicates that HupA can ameliorate MCAO-induced mitochondrial dysfunction, and this might partially contribute to its protective effect on brain damage after 24 hr of reperfusion.