Neurochemical Research

, Volume 38, Issue 2, pp 364–370 | Cite as

Nicotine-Induced Neuroprotection Against Ischemic Injury Involves Activation of Endocannabinoid System in Rats

  • Yu Chen
  • Huang Nie
  • Li Tian
  • Li Tong
  • Lujia Yang
  • Ning Lao
  • Hailong Dong
  • Hanfei SangEmail author
  • Lize XiongEmail author
Original Paper


Nicotine has been reported to exert certain protective effect in the Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. Whether it has a similar action in focal cerebral ischemia was unclear. In the present study, rats received either an injection of (−)-nicotine hydrogen tartrate salt (1.2 mg/kg, i.p.) or the vehicle 2 h before the 120 min middle cerebral artery occlusion. Neurological deficits and histological injury were assessed at 24 h after reperfusion. The content of endocannabinoids and the expression of cannabinoid receptor CB1 in brain tissues were determined at different time points after nicotine administration. Results showed that nicotine administration ameliorated neurological deficits and reduced infarct volume induced by cerebral ischemia in the rats. The neuroprotective effect was partially reversed by CB1 blockage. The content of the endocannabinoids N-arachidonylethanolamine and 2-arachidonoylglycerol, as well as the expression of cannabinoid receptor CB1 were up-regulated in brain tissues after nicotine delivery. These results suggest that endogenous cannabinoid system is involved in the nicotine-induced neuroprotection against transient focal cerebral ischemia.


Nicotine Cannabinoid Cerebral ischemia 



This work was supported in part by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant 81171237 to Hanfei Sang and Grant 30725039 to Lize XIONG).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yu Chen
    • 1
  • Huang Nie
    • 1
  • Li Tian
    • 1
  • Li Tong
    • 1
  • Lujia Yang
    • 1
  • Ning Lao
    • 1
  • Hailong Dong
    • 1
  • Hanfei Sang
    • 1
    Email author
  • Lize Xiong
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Anesthesiology, Xijing HospitalThe Fourth Military Medical UniversityXi’anChina

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