Objectives : Cerebral ischemia resulting from transient or permanent occlusion of cerebral arteries leads to neuronal cell death and eventually causes neurological impairments. Scrophulariae radix is the roots of Scrophularia buergeria. In the present study, we investigated the effects of the aqueous extract of Scrophulariae radix on apoptotic cell death in the hippocampal dentate gyrus following transient global ischemia in gerbils.
Methods : For this study, step-down avoidance task, terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) assay, and immunohistochemistry for caspase-3 were performed.
Results : The present results showed that apoptotic cell death in the hippocampal dentate gyrus was significantly increased following transient global ischemia in gerbils. Treatment with the aqueous extract of Scrophulariae radix suppressed the ischemia-induced apoptosis in the dentate gyrus and thus facilitated the recovery of short-term memory impairment induced by ischemic cerebral injury.
Conclusions : Here in this study, we have shown that Scrophulariae radix has a positive effect on-and possesses protective qualities against ischemia-induced apoptotic neuronal cell death, and it can be used for the treatment of ischemic brain diseases.