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Neuroprotective effect of herniarin following transient focal cerebral ischemia in rats


Ischemic stroke is a devastating central nervous disease. Despite extensive research in to this area, few innovative neuroprotective treatments have been presented. 7-methoxycoumarin, also known as herniarin, is a common natural coumarin in several plant species. This project examined the effects of the herniarin in rats subjected to the middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO). Herniarin at doses of 10 and 20 mg/kg was administered through intraperitoneal injection for 7 days before MCAO induction. Rats were subjected to a 30 min MCAO and a subsequent 24 h’ reperfusion. 24 h after the termination of MCAO, neurologic outcome, volume of brain infarction, level of interleukin-1β (IL-1β) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), as inflammatory markers, and oxidative stress markers including levels of total thiol, malondialdehyde (MDA), and superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity were estimated. Herniarin administration decreased the MCAO-induced infarct volume and neurological deficits. Moreover, pretreatment with herniarin significantly decreased the levels of MDA while simultaneously increasing the level of total thiol and SOD activity in the brain tissues of MCAO rats. Moreover, herniarin pretreatment decreased the levels of IL-1β and TNF-α in the brain tissues of MCAO rats. These results suggest that herniarin presents beneficial effects against ischemic stroke, partly through the inhibition of oxidative stress and inflammation.

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Data availability

The datasets of the current study are available from the corresponding author on request.


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This work was funded by the Vice-Chancellor for Research and Technology, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences (MUMS), Mashhad, Iran (no. 971707).

Author information




Samira Asgharzade and Fatemeh Forouzanfar participated in writing the article. Fatemeh Forouzanfar and Mohammad Bagher Khorrami performed the experiments. Fatemeh Forouzanfar and Samira Asgharzade were supervisors on the project and prepared the final draft of the paper.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Fatemeh Forouzanfar.

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Research involving Animals

The use of the rats was designed and performed in compliance with the National Institutes of Health guidelines for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals. The study was approved by the Ethical Committee of MUMS (971707; ethics approval code: IR.MUMS.MEDICAL.REC.1398.113).

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There is not any conflict of interest in present study.

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Asgharzade, S., Khorrami, M.B. & Forouzanfar, F. Neuroprotective effect of herniarin following transient focal cerebral ischemia in rats. Metab Brain Dis (2021).

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  • Herniarin
  • Middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO)
  • Oxidative stress
  • Inflammation
  • Neuroprotection