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Huoluo Yinao decoction mitigates cognitive impairments after chronic cerebral hypoperfusion in rats

Wang, Li-Ye, Tao, Zhen, Zhao, Hai-Ping, Wang, Rong-Liang, Li, Ling-Zhi, Luo, Yu-Min, Chen, Zhi-Gang
Journal of ethnopharmacology 2019 v.238 pp. 111846
Western blotting, carotid arteries, cognition, cognitive disorders, inducible nitric oxide synthase, laboratory animals, macrophages, models, neuroplasticity, phenotype, rats, staining, traditional medicine
Huoluo Yinao decoction (HLYND) has been used to ameliorate cognitive impairment induced by chronic cerebral hypoperfusion in clinical for years. However, the exact mechanisms remain unknown.To investigate the effects and mechanisms underlying HLYND-mediated improvement in cognitive deficits associated with chronic cerebral hypoperfusion.Thirty-six Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly allocated to three groups: sham, model, and HLYND. Daily administration of HLYND or volume-matched vehicle by gavage was initiated 1 day after bilateral carotid artery stenosis (BCAS) and continued for 42 days. The Morris water maze (MWM) test was used to assess cognitive functions from days 36–42. Via western blot and immunofluorescent staining, restoration of neuronal plasticity and remyelination of white matter were evaluated by analyzing the expression profiles of MAP-2, synaptophysin and MBP. In addition, macrophage/microglial activation was assessed by quantifying changes in Iba1, and macrophage/microglial polarization was assessed by changes in iNOS and CD16 (M1 markers), as well as Arg1 and CD206 (M2 markers).In the MWM test, BCAS rats showed significantly extended escape latency and reduced platform crossing times, while those in the HLYND group had shortened escape latency and increased frequency of platform crossing. In addition, rats in the model group showed decreased levels and abnormal morphological changes of MAP-2, synaptophysin and MBP, whereas HLYND administration reversed these effects. As expected, Iba1 levels were elevated in both the model and HLYND groups but rats in the model group showed increased levels of the M1 markers, iNOS and CD16, and a correspondent decrease in the M2 marker, Arg1. In contrast, in the HLYND group, iNOS and CD16 levels were suppressed, while Arg1 levels were elevated.Our findings demonstrate that HLYND mitigates cognitive impairment after chronic cerebral hypoperfusion in rats through mechanisms involving increased neuronal plasticity and white matter remyelination, with a subtile modulation of macrophage/microglial polarization toward the M2 phenotype.