Mol Med Rep, March 2015.
Yang ZJ, Wang YW, Li CL, Ma LQ, Zhao X


Xingnaojing (XNJ) is a standardized Chinese herbal medicine product derived from An Gong Niu Huang Pill. It may be involved in neuroprotection in a number of neurological disorders. Exposure to anesthetic agents during the brain growth spurt may trigger widespread neuroapoptosis in the developing brain. Thus the present study aimed to identify whether there was a neuroprotective effect of XNJ on anesthesiainduced neuroapoptosis. Sevendayold rats received treatment with 2.1% sevoflurane for 6 h. Rat pups were injected intraperitoneally with 1 or 10 ml/kg XNJ at 0.2, 24 and 48 h prior to sevoflurane exposure. The striata of neonatal rats were collected following administration of anesthesia. Western blotting and immunohistochemistry were used to analyze the expression of activated caspase 3, Bax and phosphorylated protein kinase B (pAKT) in the striatum. It was found that activated caspase 3 and Bax expression were upregulated in the striatum following sevoflurane treatment. Preconditioning with XNJ attenuated the neuronal apoptosis induced by sevoflurane in a dosedependent manner. Anesthesia reduced the expression of pAKT (phosphorylated at sites Thr308 and Ser473) and phosphorylated extracellularregulated protein kinase (pERK) in the striatum. Pretreatment with XNJ reversed the reduction in pAKT, but not pERK expression. These data suggest that the standardized Chinese herbal medicine XNJ has an antiapoptotic effect against sevofluraneinduced cell loss in the striatum. It thus holds promise as a safe and effective neuroprotective agent. The action of XNJ on pAKT may make a significant contribution to its neuroprotective effect.

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