Protective effect of tanshinone IIA on the brain and its therapeutic time window in rat models of cerebral ischemia-reperfusion.
Exp Ther Med. 2014 Nov ;8(5):1616-1622. Epub 2014 Aug 27. PMID: 25289069
The aims of the present study were to investigate the protective effect of tanshinone IIA on the brain and its therapeutic time window in a rat model of cerebral ischemia-reperfusion. The rat model of cerebral ischemia-reperfusion was established by suture occlusion. In an initial experiment, male Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats were randomly divided into control cerebral ischemia-reperfusion rat model, tanshinone IIA1 (TSA1), tanshinone IIA4 (TSA4), tanshinone IIA6 (TSA6) and tanshinone IIA12 (TSA12) groups (n=8 per group). The rats in the control group were given 4 ml phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) intraperitoneally following suture occlusion. The other groups were respectively treated with 25 mg/kg tanshinone IIA intraperitoneally at 1, 4, 6 and 12 h following the initiation of reperfusion and once a day for a total of three days. The grades of neurologic impairment and volume of cerebral infarction of each group were measured 72 h after suture occlusion. In another experiment, 16 male SD rats were randomly divided into a 6 h reperfusion group and a 24 h reperfusion group following drug administration. The rats in each group were further divided into a control subgroup (4 ml PBS) and a tanshinone IIA subgroup (25 mg/kg). The rats were immediately administered their respective treatments following the establishment of the model. The rats were decapitated 6 and 24 h after the initiation of reperfusion. The expression levels of cytoplasmic thioredoxin (Trx-1) and mitochondrial thioredoxin (Trx-2) in the ischemic penumbra were determined by western blot analysis. The nitric oxide (NO) levels, and total NO synthase (tNOS) and inducible NO synthase (iNOS) activities in the rat blood were measured using a reagent kit. The changes in cerebral blood flow were evaluated by Doppler imaging. The grade of neurological impairment of the TSA1 group was statistically lower than that of the other groups (P<0.05). The cerebral infarction volume results showed that the volumes of infarction in the TSA1 and TSA4 groups were lower than those in the other groups (P<0.05). Tanshinone IIA significantly increased cerebral blood flow compared with that of the control group (P<0.05). Moreover, tanshinone IIA significantly increased the expression levels of Trx-1 and Trx-2 compared with those in the control group (P<0.05). Tanshinone IIA significantly decreased the NO levels and iNOS and tNOS activities compared with those of the control group (P<0.05). However, the iNOS activity in the rats in the 6 h reperfusion group was not statistically significantly different from that of the respective control group (P>0.05). Tanshinone IIA has a protective effect on the cranial nerves when administered during the initial stages of cerebral ischemia. This protective effect is associated with an improvement of cerebral blood flow as well as an increase in anti-oxygen radical and anti-inflammatory activities.