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Total saponins of Panax Notoginseng modulate the expression of caspases and attenuate apoptosis in rats following focal cerebral ischemia-reperfusion

Li, Hua, Deng, Chang-Qing, Chen, Bei-Yang, Zhang, Shu-Ping, Liang, Yan, Luo, Xue-Gang
Journal of ethnopharmacology 2009 v.121 no.3 pp. 412-418
Oriental traditional medicine, saponins, chemical constituents of plants, medicinal plants, medicinal properties, rats, Panax notoginseng, caspases, apoptosis, animal disease models, intraperitoneal injection, arteries, ischemia, dose response, neuroprotective effect, China
Ethnopharmacological relevance: Total saponins of Panax notoginseng (TSPN), main constituents extracted from Panax Notoginseng, a highly valued traditional Chinese medicine, have been shown to be an effective agent on cerebral infarction. Aim of the study: The effects of TSPN on apoptosis and expressions of caspase-1, caspase-3 and caspase-8 were studied after cerebral ischemia for 2h followed by reperfusion for 46h in rats. Materials and methods: Rats were subjected to transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) model using the intraluminal thread. TSPN was administered intraperitoneally at 5min before and 12h, 24h and 36h after MCAO, respectively. Results: TSPN (at the dose of 25mg/kg) significantly attenuated TUNEL-positive cells and reduced the expression of caspase-1 and caspase-3 compared to the model group, while it had no obvious effect on the expression of caspase-8. Conclusions: The neuroprotective effect of TSPN on focal ischemia may be related to inhibition of apoptosis and caspases activation.