Experimental Brain Research

, Volume 177, Issue 4, pp 533–539 | Cite as

Neuroprotective effects of safflor yellow B on brain ischemic injury

  • Chaoyun WangEmail author
  • Dalei Zhang
  • Guisheng Li
  • Juntian LiuEmail author
  • Jingwei Tian
  • Fenghua Fu
  • Ke Liu
Research Article


The present study was conducted to investigate whether safflor yellow B (SYB) had a protective effect on cerebral ischemic injury and to determine the possible mechanisms in vivo and in vitro. In vivo, Male Wistar–Kyoto (WKY) rats were used to make the model of middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO). The behavioral test was used to measure neurological deficit scores for evaluation of the ischemic damage of brain. The infarction area of brain was assessed in brain slices stained with 2% solution of 2,3,5-triphenyl tetrazolium chloride (TTC). Spectrophotometric assay was used to determine the activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx), contents of malondialdehyde (MDA) and adenosine triphosphate (ATP) of the brain. Furthermore, the respiratory control ratio (RCR = state 3/state 4) was assessed in the brain mitochondria. In vitro, the effect of SYB was tested in cultured fetal cortical cells exposed to glutamate to identify its neuroprotection against neurons damage. The results in vivo showed that SYB at doses of 3.0 and 6.0 mg kg−1 markedly decreased the neurological deficit scores and the infarction area in MCAO rats. At the same time, SYB significantly improved mitochondrial energy metabolism, decreased MDA content, and increased SOD and GPx activities in ischemic brain. The results in vitro showed that SYB remarkably inhibited neuron damage induced by glutamate in cultured fetal cortical cells. These suggest that SYB might act as a potential neuroprotective agent against the cerebral ischemia-induced injury in rat brain through reducing lipid peroxides, scavenging free radicals, and improving the energy metabolism.


Safflor yellow B Cerebral ischemia Neuroprotection Free radicals Glutamate Energy metabolism 



The study was financially supported by Shandong Engineering Research Center for Nature Drug. We also thank Mr. ChengJun Ma for his generous assistance.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PharmacologyXi’an Jiaotong University School of MedicineXi’anPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Environment and Genes Related to Disease (Xi’an Jiaotong University), Ministry of EducationXi’anPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Shandong Engineering Research Center for Nature DrugYantaiPeople’s Republic of China
  4. 4.National Key Laboratory of Biochemical EngineeringInstitute of Process Engineering, Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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