Pterostilbene induces Nrf2/HO-1 and potentially regulates NF-κB and JNK-Akt/mTOR signaling in ischemic brain injury in neonatal rats.
3 Biotech. 2020 May ;10(5):192. Epub 2020 Apr 4. PMID: 32269897
Hypoxic-ischemic (HI) brain injury has a high occurrence rate of 1-4 per 1000 live births and is the leading cause of neurological disabilities. Despite the improvement in neonatal care, the effectiveness of current therapeutic strategies is limited, and thus, additional therapies with better results are of much needed. Pterostilbene is a stilbenoid possessing numerous preventive and therapeutic properties. The current study aimed to assess whether pterostilbene exerted protective effects in neonatal rats against experimentally induced ischemic brain injury. Pterostilbene was administered via oral gavage from postnatal day 3 to day 8. Rat pups that were seven-day-old were exposed to hypoxic-ischemic insult via ligation of the common carotid artery and hypoxic environment exposure. Pterostilbene treatment reduced neuronal loss and infarct volume. Pterostilbene administration regulated the NF-κB pathway, and the levels of inflammatory mediators (Nitric oxide, TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-6) were reduced. HI-induced oxidative stress was significantly reduced by pterostilbene, as presented by decreased production of malondialdehyde and reactive oxygen species. Levels of glutathione were enhanced by pterostilbene. Pterostilbene regulated Nrf2/HO-1 and JNK expression and activated the PI3K/Akt-mTOR signals. These findings suggest that pterostilbene is a candidate compound for the treatment of neonatal HI.