To investigate the effects of emodin on blast-induced traumatic brain injury (bTBI) in a rat model. Eighty rats were randomly divided into 2 groups (the control group and the emodin-treated group; N = 40 per group) and were used to establish the model of blast-induced traumatic brain injury. Ten minutes after the explosion, an isotonic saline solution (10 mg/kg) or emodin (10 mg/kg) were administered via an intraperitoneal injection to the control group and the emodin-treated group, respectively. At each time point (pre-explosion, 2, 6, 12, 24 h after explosion), 2 rats were used for the pathological assessment and 6 rats were used for the biochemical assessment. The concentration of nitric oxide (NO) and the expression and activity of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) were measured at each time point by spectrophotometry and western blot analysis. Light and electron microscopy showed that the brain damage in the emodin-treated group was less serious than that observed in the control group. The concentration of NO in the emodin-treated group was lower compared with the control group (p < 0.05). Western blot analysis showed that protein expression in the emodin-treated group was lower than the control group (p < 0.05). Emodin can alleviate brain damage after bTBI by inhibiting iNOS. These findings suggest that emodin has a protective effect against bTBI. One possible mechanism may occur by inhibiting the expression and activity of iNOS and consequently decreasing the concentration of NO.
Emodin Nitric oxide iNOS Traumatic brain injury
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We thank Lei Chen, Yan Li, and Bingcang Li for their technical assistance.
Conflict of interest
There are no potential conflicts of interest related to this manuscript.
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