Metabolic Brain Disease

, Volume 32, Issue 6, pp 1861–1869 | Cite as

Huperzine A alleviates neuroinflammation, oxidative stress and improves cognitive function after repetitive traumatic brain injury

  • Zhengrong Mei
  • Peiying Zheng
  • Xiangping Tan
  • Ying Wang
  • Bing SituEmail author
Original Article


Traumatic brain injury (TBI) may trigger secondary injury cascades including endoplasmic reticulum stress, oxidative stress, and neuroinflammation. Unfortunately, there are no effective treatments targeting either primary or secondary injuries that result in long-term detrimental consequences. Huperzine A (HupA) is a potent acetylcholinesterase inhibitor (AChEI) that has been used treatment of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). This study aimed to explore the neuroprotective effects of HupA in TBI and its possible mechanisms. Repetitive mild closed head injury (CHI) model was used to mimic concussive TBI. Mice were randomly assigned into three groups including sham, vehicle-treated and HupA-treated injured mice. The HupA was given at dose of 1.0 mg/kg/day and was initiated 30 min after the first injury, then administered daily for a total of 30 days. The neuronal functions including motor functions, emotion-like behaviors, learning and memory were tested. Axonal injury, reactive oxygen species (ROS), and neuroinflammation were examined as well. The results showed that injured mice treated with HupA had significant improvement in Morris water maze performance compared with vehicle-treated injured mice. HupA treatment significantly attenuated markers of neuroinflammation and oxidative stress in the injured mice. Taken together, HupA was effective in reducing neuroinflammation, oxidative stress and behavioral recovery after TBI. HupA is a promising candidate for treatment of TBI.


Traumatic brain injury Huperzine A Nueroprotection Neuroinflammation Oxidative stress 



The authors would like to thank Dr. Jianhua Qiu for his assistance with the revision English language.

Compliance with ethical standards


This work is supported by a grant from Guangzhou Education Bureau (1201421151).

Conflict of interest

No competing financial interests exist.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zhengrong Mei
    • 1
  • Peiying Zheng
    • 1
  • Xiangping Tan
    • 1
  • Ying Wang
    • 1
  • Bing Situ
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Pharmacy, The Third Affiliated HospitalGuangzhou Medical UniversityGuangzhouPeople’s Republic of China

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