Drug Discov Ther. 2011;5(2):76-83. (DOI: 10.5582/ddt.2011.v5.2.76)
Therapeutic time window of YGY-E neuroprotection of cerebral ischemic injury in rats.
An YT, Zhao Z, Sheng YC, Min Y, Xia YY
YGY-E is an active ingredient in traditional Chinese medical herbs which have anti-ischemic activity. The present work was designed to study its therapeutic time window in cerebral ischemic injury as well as its effect on neuronal apoptosis. Animals received an intravenous injection of YGY-E at 1, 3, and 6 h, respectively, after permanent focal cerebral ischemia induced by electrocoagulation of the middle cerebral artery. Infarct ratio and neurological function were employed to assess the effects of YGY-E on the therapeutic time window in this animal model. Furthermore, we evaluated effects of this compound on neuronal apoptosis and synthesis of Bcl-2 and Bax in ischemic brain tissue with in situ DNA end labeling (TUNEL), immunohistochemistry assay, and Western blot analysis. YGY-E (2-8 mg/kg) delivered at all the three time points dosedependently decreased infarct ratio, neurological deficits, percentage of TUNEL-positive cells (p < 0.01) and Bax-positive cells (p < 0.01 or p < 0.05). In contrast, it increased the percentage of Bcl-2 positive cells (p < 0.01 or p < 0.05). These data demonstrated that YGY-E had protective effects against cerebral ischemia injuries in rats. But more importantly, they indicate that YGY-E has an unusually long (up to 6 h) therapeutic time window relative to classical drugs in treating cerebral ischemia. In addition, our results suggest that the anti-apoptotic effects of YGY-E are due to its regulation of the balance between Bcl-2 and Bax protein levels.