Main content area

Ligustilide alleviates brain damage and improves cognitive function in rats of chronic cerebral hypoperfusion

Feng, Zhanbo, Lu, Yapeng, Wu, Xiaomei, Zhao, Peng, Li, Jiejia, Peng, Bin, Qian, Zhongming, Zhu, Li
Journal of ethnopharmacology 2012 v.144 no.2 pp. 313-321
Angelica sinensis, Oriental traditional medicine, antibodies, apoptosis, brain damage, carotid arteries, caspase-3, cognition, cortex, dementia, dendrites, drugs, hippocampus, ischemia, memory, models, neuroprotective effect, rats, surgery
ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE: Ligustilide (LIG), a main lipophilic component of Danggui (Chinese Angelica root, Radix Angelica sinensis) which is a popular used herb to treat menstrual disorders in traditional chinese medicine, has been reported to possess some neuroprotective effects on permanent focal ischemia and transient forebrain ischemia. AIM OF THE STUDY: Based on previous work, we intended to investigate the protective effects of LIG on parietal cortex and hippocampus of rats in chronic cerebral hypoperfusion model. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Chronic cerebral hypoperfusion was induced by permanent, bilateral common carotid artery's occlusion (2VO). The rats were treated with LIG (80mg/kg, by oral) from the eighth day after surgery for seven consecutive days. Their spatial learning and memory abilities were assessed using the Morris water maze. After six days for maze test, rats were sacrificed. Coronal sections in cortex and hippocampus were stained with cresyl violet or labeled with NeuN (Neuronal Nuclei), MAP-2 (Microtubule-Associated Protein-2), Caspase-3 and GFAP (Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein) antibodies. RESULTS: LIG treatment for seven days decreased escape latency and swimming distance of 2VO rats from the third day in maze tests, and increased percent time in the target quadrant. LIG prevented neuronal loss, dendrites damage and neuronal apoptosis in both parietal cortex and hippocampus of 2VO rats; and it also inhibited astrocytic activation and proliferation stimulated by hypoperfusion. CONCLUSIONS: These results demonstrate that LIG show obvious neuroprotective potential for treating chronic cerebral hypoperfusion injury, which may be attributed to its anti-apoptosis of neuron and anti-proliferation of astrocyte both in cortex and in hippocampus of 2VO rats. We suggest that LIG can be developed as an effective drugs for the prevention of vascular dementia (VD).