Scientific reports

Levo-tetrahydropalmatine attenuates mouse blood-brain barrier injury induced by focal cerebral ischemia and reperfusion: Involvement of Src kinase.

PMID 26059793


The restoration of blood flow following thrombolytic therapy causes ischemia and reperfusion (I/R) injury leading to blood-brain barrier (BBB) disruption and subsequent brain edema in patients of ischemic stroke. Levo-tetrahydropalmatine (l-THP) occurs in Corydalis genus and some other plants. However, whether l-THP exerts protective role on BBB disruption following cerebral I/R remains unclear. Male C57BL/6N mice (23 to 28 g) were subjected to 90 min middle cerebral artery occlusion, followed by reperfusion for 24 h. l-THP (10, 20, 40 mg/kg) was administrated by gavage 60 min before ischemia. We found I/R evoked Evans blue extravasation, albumin leakage, brain water content increase, cerebral blood flow decrease, cerebral infarction and neurological deficits, all of which were attenuated by l-THP treatment. Meanwhile, l-THP inhibited tight junction (TJ) proteins down-expression, Src kinase phosphorylation, matrix metalloproteinases-2/9 (MMP-2/9) and caveolin-1 activation. In addition, surface plasmon resonance revealed binding of l-THP to Src kinase with high affinity. Then we found Src kinase inhibitor PP2 could attenuate Evans blue dye extravasation and inhibit the caveolin-1, MMP-9 activation, occludin down-expression after I/R, respectively. In conclusion, l-THP attenuated BBB injury and brain edema, which were correlated with inhibiting the Src kinase phosphorylation.