Neuroprotection of Osthole against Cerebral Ischemia/Reperfusion Injury through an Anti-apoptotic Pathway in Rats.Biol Pharm Bull. 2016; 39(3):336-42.BP
Cerebral ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury is a major cause of acute brain injury. The pathogenetic mechanisms underlying I/R injury involve apoptosis, inflammation and oxidative stress. Osthole-a plant coumarin compound-has been reported to protect against focal cerebral I/R-induced injury in rats. However, the mechanism remains unknown. Here we hypothesize that osthole acts through inhibition of apoptosis during focal cerebral I/R injury in rats. We induced cerebral I/R injury by middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) for 2 h followed by reperfusion. We randomly assigned 60 rats to three groups (20 rats per group): sham-operated, vehicle-treated I/R, and osthole-treated I/R. We treated rats intraperitoneally with osthole (40 mg/kg) or vehicle 30 min before cerebral ischemia. We harvested the brains for infarct volume, brain water content, histological changes and terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated deoxyuridine triphosphate nick-end labeling (TUNEL) staining as well as cleaved caspase-3, bax, and bcl-2 levels 24 h after reperfusion. Osthole treatment significantly attenuated cerebral dysfunction and histologic damage induced by I/R injury. Moreover, osthole-treated rats had a dramatic decrease in apoptotic neuronal cells along with a decrease in bax and cleaved caspase-3. The bcl-2 levels increased. Osthole treatment protects the brain from cerebral I/R injury by suppressing cell apoptosis. Thus, osthole may represent a novel practical strategy to prevent cerebral I/R injury.