Nrf2 Plays an Essential Role in Long-Term Brain Damage and Neuroprotection of Korean Red Ginseng in a Permanent Cerebral Ischemia Model.
Antioxidants (Basel). 2019 Aug 3 ;8(8). Epub 2019 Aug 3. PMID: 31382635
Cerebral ischemia is a devastating disease with a high incidence of death and disability; however, effective therapeutics remain limited. The transcriptional factor Nrf2 has been shown to play a pivotal role in the endogenous defense against brain oxidative stress and inflammation, and therefore represents a promising target for stroke intervention. However, the long-term effects of Nrf2 and the standardized Korean red ginseng (ginseng), a potent Nrf2 natural inducer, on permanent cerebral ischemic damage have not yet been reported. Wildtype (WT) and Nrf2adult mice were pretreated with either vehicle or ginseng, and were subjected to permanent distal middle cerebral artery occlusion (pdMCAO). The infarct volume, the reactive astrocytes and microglia, and the water regulatory protein aquaporin 4 (AQP4) were examined at 28 days after stroke. When compared with the WT matched controls, the Nrf2 disruption significantly enlarged the infarct volume (40.4± 10.1%) and exacerbated the progression of reactive gliosis and AQP4 protein levels after pdMCAO. In contrast, ginseng significantly reduced the infarct volume and attenuated the reactive gliosis and AQP4 in the ischemic WT mice (47.3 ± 6.9%), but not in the Nrf2mice (25.5± 5.6%). In conclusion, Nrf2 plays an important role in the long-term recovery of permanent cerebral ischemic damage and the neuroprotection of ginseng.