Neuroprotective role of Z-ligustilide against forebrain ischemic injury in ICR mice

X. Kuang, Y. Yao, J. R. Du, Y. X. Liu, C. Y. Wang, Z. M. Qian

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165 Scopus citations


Radix Angelica sinensis, known as Danggui in Chinese, has been used to treat cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases in Traditional Chinese Medicine for a long time. Modern phytochemical studies showed that Z-ligustilide (LIG) is the main lipophilic component of Danggui. In this study, we examined whether LIG could protect ischemia/reperfusion-induced brain injury by minimizing oxidative stress and anti-apoptosis. Transient forebrain cerebral ischemia (FCI) was induced by the bilateral common carotid arteries occlusion for 30 min. LIG was intraperitoneally injected to ICR mice at the beginning of reperfusion. As determined via 2,3,5-triphenyl tetrazolium chloride (TTC) staining at 24 h following ischemia, the infarction volume in the FCI mice treated without LIG (22.1 ± 2.6%) was significantly higher than that in the FCI mice treated with 5 mg/kg (11.8 ± 5.2%) and 20 mg/kg (2.60 ± 1.5%) LIG (P < 0.05 or P < 0.01). LIG treatment significantly decreased the level of malondialdehyde (MDA) and increased the activities of the antioxidant enzyme glutathione peroxidase (GSH-PX) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) in the ischemic brain tissues (P < 0.05 or P < 0.01 vs. FCI group). In addition, LIG provided a great increase in Bcl-2 expression as well as a significant decrease in Bax and caspase-3 immunoreactivities in the ischemic cortex. The findings demonstrated that LIG could significantly protect the brain from damage induced by transient forebrain cerebral ischemia. The antioxidant and anti-apoptotic properties of LIG may contribute to the neuroprotective potential of LIG in cerebral ischemic damage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)145-153
Number of pages9
JournalBrain Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 2 2006

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The studies in this laboratory were supported by research grants of national key Laboratory of Chinese Medicine and Molecular Pharmacology in Shenzhen, the Hong Kong Polytechnic University research grants (a-256, g-ye98, g-yx14, g-yd78, g-t616, and g-t856), natural science project of university in Jiangsu Province (04kjb310113), and research grants of Nantong University.

Copyright 2008 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Cell apoptosis
  • Forebrain cerebral ischemia (FCI), Z-ligustilide
  • Neuroprotection
  • Oxidative damage


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