, Volume 34, Issue 9, pp 1626-1634
Date: 18 Mar 2009

Neuroprotective Effect of Baicalin in a Rat Model of Permanent Focal Cerebral Ischemia

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This investigation was performed to determine the neuroprotective effect of baicalin on permanent cerebral ischemia injury in rats and the potential mechanisms in this process. Adult male Sprague-Dawley rats underwent permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion (pMCAO). The rats were then received intraperitoneal injection with baicalin (10, 30 and 100 mg/kg) or vehicle. Morphological characteristic, neurological deficit scores, cerebral infarct volume and the enzymatic activity of myeloperoxidase (MPO) were measured 24 h after pMCAO. The mRNA expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) were determined by RT-PCR. Neuronal apoptosis was determined by TUNEL staining and Western blot. Baicalin (30 and 100 mg/kg) reduced neurological deficit scores and cerebral infarct volume 24 h after pMCAO. Baicalin significantly decreased the enzymatic activity of MPO and the expression of iNOS mRNA and COX-2 mRNA in rat brain, it also significantly inhibited neuronal apoptosis and the expression of cleaved caspase-3 protein after pMCAO. Our results suggested that baicalin possesses potent anti-inflammatory and anti-apoptotic properties and attenuates cerebral ischemia injury. This protection might be associated with the downregulated expression of iNOS mRNA, COX-2 mRNA, and cleaved caspase-3 protein.