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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research
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eISSN: 1643-3750

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Effects of β-Asarone on Ischemic Stroke in Middle Cerebral Artery Occlusion Rats by an Nrf2-Antioxidant Response Elements (ARE) Pathway-Dependent Mechanism

Huiying Pan, Yi Xu, Qian Cai, Meiling Wu, Mingxing Ding

(Medical Molecular Biology Laboratory, Medical College, Jinhua Polytechnic, Jinhua, Zhejiang, China (mainland))

Med Sci Monit 2021; 27:e931884

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.931884


BACKGROUND: This study assessed the effects and underlying molecular mechanisms of ß-asarone on ischemic stroke model rats.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Ischemic stroke was induced by middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) in rats. Before and after modeling, cognitive function was evaluated via fear conditioning test and neurological deficit was determined via Longa and Bederson scores. Following treatment with ß-asarone or nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) inhibitor for 20 consecutive days, the cerebral infarction was detected via TTC staining and Cresyl Violet staining in brain tissues. TUNEL staining and western blot analysis for apoptosis-related proteins were performed to assess the apoptosis of neurons. Nrf2-antioxidant response elements (ARE) pathway-related proteins were examined by RT-qPCR or western blot.
RESULTS: The cognitive and neurological function was defective in MCAO rats. The infarction volumes and the apoptosis of cortical neurons were significantly increased in brain tissues of model rats, which were ameliorated after treatment with ß-asarone. Meanwhile, the increase in pro-apoptotic proteins and decrease in anti-apoptotic proteins were found in brain tissues of model rats, which were markedly ameliorated by ß-asarone treatment. However, Nrf2 inhibitor worsened the cerebral infarction and the apoptosis of neurons. Western blot results showed that ß-asarone treatment activated the Nrf2-ARE pathway-related proteins in model rats, which was inhibited by Nrf2 inhibitor.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that ß-asarone treatment ameliorated the cerebral infarction in MCAO rats, which could be related to activation of the Nrf2-ARE pathway.

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