Neuroprotective effects of a standardized flavonoid extract from Diospyros kaki leaves.
J Ethnopharmacol. 2009 Oct 29;126(1):134-42. Epub 2009 Aug 7. PMID: 19665536
ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE: Flavonoids, extracted from the leaves of Diospyros kaki, are the main therapeutic components of NaoXingQing (NXQ), a potent and patented Chinese herbal remedy widely used in China for the treatment of apoplexy syndrome. AIM OF THE STUDY: To investigate the neuroprotective effects of FLDK-P70, a standardized flavonoid extract, using in vivo rat models of both focal ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury induced by middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) and on transient global brain ischemia induced by four-vessel occlusion (4-VO). We also aim to examine the effects of FLDK-P70 on glutamate-induced cell injury of hippocampal neurons as well as on hypoxia-induced injury of cortical neurons in primary cell culture. MATERIALS AND METHODS AND RESULTS: Administration of FLDK-P70 for 12 days (40, 80 mg/kg body weight, p.o., 5 days before and 7 days after 4-VO) increased the survival of hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons after transient global brain ischemia. Similarly, administration of FLDK-P70 for 7 days (40, 80 mg/kg body weight, p.o., 3 days before and 4 days after MCAO) significantly reduced the lesion of the insulted brain hemisphere and improved the neurological behavior of rats. In primary rat hippocampal neuronal cultures, pretreatment with FLDK-P70 (5, 10 microg/ml) protected neurons from glutamate-induced excitotoxic neuronal death in a dose-dependent manner. In primary rat cerebral cortical neuronal culture, pretreatment with FLDK-P70 (25, 100 microg/ml) also reduced hypoxia-reoxygen induced neuronal death and apoptosis in a dose-dependent manner. CONCLUSIONS: These in vivo and in vitro results suggest that FLDK-P70 significantly protects rats from MCAO and 4-VO ischemic injury in vivo and protects hippocampal neurons from glutamate-induced excitotoxic injury as well as cortical neurons from hypoxia-induced injury in vitro. The mechanisms of these effects may be due to the antioxidative activity of the flavonoids. These results convincingly demonstrate that FLDK-P70 may be useful for the prevention and treatment of ischemia/reperfusion injury and other related neurodegenerative diseases.