Metabolic Brain Disease

, Volume 32, Issue 1, pp 221–233 | Cite as

Panax notoginseng saponins administration modulates pro- /anti-inflammatory factor expression and improves neurologic outcome following permanent MCAO in rats

  • Xiaowei Shi
  • Wenjing Yu
  • Lixing Liu
  • Wei Liu
  • Xiaomeng Zhang
  • Tiantian Yang
  • Limin Chai
  • Lixia Lou
  • Yonghong Gao
  • Lingqun Zhu
Original Article


Ischemic stroke, particularly permanent occlusion, accounts for the overwhelming majority of all strokes. In addition to the occlusion of arteries, the inflammatory response plays a pivotal role in the severity of the cerebral injury and its clinical prognosis. Here, panax notoginseng saponins (PNS) extracted from a traditional Chinese herbal medicine was administered following permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) in rats to explore the neuroprotective mechanisms against ischemic injury. The results showed that MCAO surgery was successful in producing an infarct and that PNS and nimodipine could ameliorate the neurological deficits. The expression levels of interleukin-1β (IL-1β), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) were increased, while the level of interleukin-10 (IL-10) was reduced in the infarct cortex 7 days after MCAO, as assessed by immunohistochemistry, western blotting and quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR). PNS was able to markedly reduce the overexpression of IL-1β and TNF-α while significantly promoting the expression of IL-10, but did not affect the elevated expression of TGF-β1. Meanwhile, nimodipine was able to significantly reduce the expression of IL-1β and TNF-α, but had no obvious effect on IL-10 or TGF-β1. In addition, the serum levels of TNF-α, IL-10 and TGF-β1 were basically consistent with cerebral tissue results; however, the IL-1β levels did not differ. We conclude that PNS can directly down-regulate the overexpression of proinflammatory factors IL-1β and TNF-α while up-regulating the expression of anti-inflammatory factor IL-10 in the core region of the cerebral infarct, thereby preventing neurological damage in rats after permanent MCAO.


panax notoginseng saponins Permanent cerebral infarction Il-1β TNF-α Il-10 TGF-β1 



This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 30772803 and 81173235). The authors would like to thank the key laboratory of Dongzhimen Hospital for providing the necessary facilities to ensure the completion of the research.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there is no potential conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xiaowei Shi
    • 1
  • Wenjing Yu
    • 2
  • Lixing Liu
    • 3
  • Wei Liu
    • 4
  • Xiaomeng Zhang
    • 1
  • Tiantian Yang
    • 1
  • Limin Chai
    • 1
  • Lixia Lou
    • 1
  • Yonghong Gao
    • 1
  • Lingqun Zhu
    • 1
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Chinese Internal Medicine of Educational Ministry and Beijing, Dongzhimen HospitalBeijing University of Chinese MedicineBeijingChina
  2. 2.Department of pediatricsBeijing University of Chinese Medicine Third Affiliated Hospital, Beijing University of Chinese MedicineBeijingChina
  3. 3.Department of Integrated Traditional and Western Medicine, Beijing Ditan HospitalCapital Medical UniversityBeijingChina
  4. 4.Department of Rehabilitation, Beijing Children’s HospitalCapital Medical UniversityBeijingChina

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