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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Protective effects of icariin on neurons injured by cerebral ischemia/reperfusion.

BACKGROUND: It is very important to search for novel anti-ischemia/reperfusion neuroprotective drugs for prevention or treatment of cerebrovascular diseases. Icariin, the major active component of traditional Chinese herb Yinyanghuo, may have a beneficial role for neurons in cerebral ischemia/reperfusion caused by accident. However, it was not clear yet. In this study, we observed the protective effects of icariin on neurons injured by ischemia/reperfusion in vitro and in vivo and investigated its protective mechanism. METHODS: Cerebral cortical neurons of Wistar rats in primary culture were studied during the different periods of oxygen-glucose deprivation and reperfusion with oxygen and glucose. Cell viability was determined by methyl thiazoleterazolium (MTT) assay. The activity of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) leaked from neurons, cell apoptosis and the concentration of intracellular free calcium were measured respectively. On the other hand, the mice model of transient cerebral ischemia/reperfusion was made by bilateral occlusion of common carotid arteries and ischemic hypotension/reperfusion. The mice were divided into several groups at random: sham operated group, model group and icariin preventive treatment group. The changes of mice behavioral, activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and the content of malondialdehyde (MDA) were measured, respectively. RESULTS: Treatment with icariin (final concentration 0.25, 0.5, and 1 mg/L) during ischemia/reperfusion-mimetic incubation in vitro concentration-dependently attenuated neuronal damage with characteristics of increasing injured neuronal absorbance of MTT, decreasing LDH release, decreasing cell apoptosis, and blunting elevation of intracellular calcium concentration. And in vivo the learning and memory abilities significantly decreased, activities of SOD were diminished and MDA level increased obviously in model group, compared with that in sham operated group. But pre-treatment of model mice with icariin (10, 30 and 100 mg/kg, i.g.) significantly blunted the decrease of mice learning, memory ability and SOD activity, and markedly decreased MDA level. CONCLUSIONS: Icariin has protective effects on cerebral ischemia/reperfusion injured neurons. And decreasing cell apoptosis, preventing intracellular calcium concentration elevation and enhancing anti-oxidant capacity may contribute to its protective effects.[1]


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