Biochemical and biophysical research communications

Tetramethylpyrazine inhibits neutrophil activation following permanent cerebral ischemia in rats.

PMID 26043690


Experimental studies have demonstrated the beneficial effects of tetramethylpyrazine (TMP) against ischemic stroke and highlighted its crucial role in anti-inflammatory activity. This study provides evidence of an alternative target for TMP and sheds light on the mechanism of its anti-inflammatory action against ischemic brain injury. We report a global inhibitory effect of TMP on inflammatory cell intracerebral activation and infiltration in a rat model of permanent cerebral ischemia. The results of immunohistochemistry, enzymatic assay, flow cytometric analysis, and cytological analysis revealed that intraperitoneal TMP administration reduced neuronal loss, macrophage/microglia activation, brain parenchyma infiltrative neutrophils, and circulating neutrophils after cerebral ischemia. Biochemical studies of cultured neutrophils further demonstrated that TMP attenuated neutrophil migration, endothelium adhesion, spontaneous nitric oxide (NO) production, and stimuli-activated NO production after cerebral ischemia. In parallel with these anti-neutrophil phenomena, TMP also attenuated the activities of ischemia-induced inflammation-associated signaling molecules, including plasma high-mobility group box-1 protein (HMGB1) and neutrophil toll-like receptor-4 (TLR4), Akt, extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), and inducible nitric oxide synthase. Another finding in this study was that the anti-neutrophil effect of TMP was accompanied by a further elevated expression of NF-E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) and heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) in neutrophils after cerebral ischemia. Taken together, our results suggest that both the promotion of endogenous anti-inflammatory defense capacity and the attenuation of pro-inflammatory responses via targeting of circulating neutrophils by elevating Nrf2/HO-1 expression and inhibiting HMGB1/TLR4, Akt, and ERK signaling might actively contribute to TMP-mediated neuroprotection against cerebral ischemia.