Our previous study has revealed that chronic cerebral hypoperfusion (CCH) activates a compensatory vascular mechanism attempting to maintain an optimal cerebral blood flow (CBF). However, this compensation fails to prevent neuronal death and cognitive impairment because neurons die prior to the restoration of normal CBF. Therefore, pharmacological invention may be critical to enhance the CBF for reducing neurodegeneration and memory deficit. Dl-3-n-butylphthalide (NBP) is a compound isolated from the seeds of Chinese celery and has been proven to be able to prevent neuronal loss, reduce inflammation and ameliorate memory deficits in acute ischemic animal models and stroke patients. In the present study, we used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques, immunohistochemistry and Morris water maze (MWM) to investigate whether NBP can accelerate CBF recovery, reduce neuronal death and improve cognitive deficits in CCH rats after permanent bilateral common carotid artery occlusion (BCCAO). Rats were intravenously injected with NBP (5 mg/kg) daily for 14 days beginning the first day after BCCAO. The results showed that NBP shortened recovery time of CBF to pre-occlusion levels at 2 weeks following BCCAO, compared to 4 weeks in the vehicle group, and enhanced hemodynamic compensation through dilation of the vertebral arteries (VAs) and increase in angiogenesis. NBP treatment also markedly reduced reactive astrogliosis and cell apoptosis and protected hippocampal neurons against ischemic injury. The escape latency of CCH rats in the MWM was also reduced in response to NBP treatment. These findings demonstrate that NBP can accelerate the recovery of CBF and improve cognitive function in a rat model of CCH, suggesting that NBP is a promising therapy for CCH patients or vascular dementia.
Xiong, Z., Lu, W., Zhu, L., Zeng, L., Shi, C., Jing, Z., … Huang, L. (2017). Dl-3-n-butylphthalide treatment enhances hemodynamics and ameliorates memory deficits in rats with chronic cerebral hypoperfusion. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, 9(JUL). https://doi.org/10.3389/fnagi.2017.00238