The Chinese journal of physiology

Neuroprotective effects of scutellarin against hypoxic-ischemic-induced cerebral injury via augmentation of antioxidant defense capacity.

PMID 22229507


An increasing number of studies has indicated that hypoxic-ischemic-induced cerebral injury is partly mediated via oxidative stress. Recent researches have focused on searching for drug and herbal manipulations to protect against hypoxic-ischemic-induced oxidative cell damage. Scutellarin is a flavonoid derived from the Erigeron breviscapus (vant.) and has been reported to exhibit neuroprotective properties. However, its precise mechanism, particularly its antioxidation mechanism, remains elusive. In the present study, we investigated the neuroprotective effects of scutellarin on middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO)-induced brain damage in rats, and oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD)-induced toxicity in primary culture of rat cortical neurons. In vivo, intraperitoneal injections of scutellarin (20 and 60 mg/kg) improved the neurological score and diminished the percentage of brain infarct volume. At the same time, scutellarin significantly increased superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT) activities and glutathione (GSH) level in ischemic brain tissues, enhancing endogenous antioxidant activity. Moreover, pretreatment of scutellarin (25, 50 and 100 μM) protected neurons against lethal stimuli, decreased the percentage of apoptotic cells and inhibited reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation in OGD-induced primary cortical neurons in vitro. These results suggest that the preventive and therapeutic potential of scutellarin in cerebral injury patients is, at least in part, ascribed to augmentation of cellular antioxidant defense capacity.