The Neuroprotection of puerarin against cerebral ischemia is associated with the prevention of apoptosis in rats.
Planta Med. 2005 Jul ;71(7):585-91. PMID: 16041641
Previous work has shown that puerarin (Pur), extracted from the dried root of Pueraria lobata (Wild) Ohwi, increases cerebral blood flow in dogs and attenuates cerebral and spinal cord injury resulting from ischemia and reperfusion in rats and rabbits. The present study further demonstrates the neuroprotective effects of Pur on cerebral ischemic injury in rats and the mechanisms underlying the protective effects. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were subjected to middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAo) for 50 min followed by reperfusion for 24 h. Pur (50, 100 mg/kg, i.p) was administered at the onset of MCAo. Twenty-four hours after reperfusion, neurological deficits were evaluated in Pur- and vehicle-treated rats. The infarct volume and edema ratios were assessed from stained brain slices. The results showed that Pur (100 mg/kg) markedly decreased the infarct volume by 34 % ( P<0.01) in cerebral cortex and improved the neurological functions ( P<0.05) after MCAo. Furthermore, flow cytometric analysis of annexin-V and PI labeling cells showed that the percentages of apoptosis and necrosis in the dorsolateral cortex were significantly reduced by 38.6 % and 28.5 % ( P<0.01 and P<0.05) following treatment with Pur (100 mg/kg) in MCAo rats. Caspase-3 activity, a biochemical marker of apoptosis, was significantly inhibited after treatment with Pur in the dorsolateral cortex. In agreement with this result, the expression of the X-chromosome-linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein (XIAP) was obviously up-regulated after administration of Pur (100 mg/kg), while caspase-3 gene was down-regulated in the dorsolateral cortex. These results suggest that the neuroprotection of puerarin against cerebral ischemia is associated with anti-apoptosis.