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J Ethnopharmacol. 2004 Dec;95(2-3):335-43.

Effects of Choto-san and hooks and stems of Uncaria sinensis on antioxidant enzyme activities in the gerbil brain after transient forebrain ischemia.

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  • 1Department of Japanese Oriental Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Toyama Medical and Pharmaceutical University, Toyama, Japan.


Previously, we revealed that oral administrations of Choto-san, a Kampo formula, and the hooks and stems of Uncaria sinensis Haviland (Rubiaceae), a medicinal plant comprising Choto-san, enhanced superoxide anion and hydroxyl radical scavenging activities in the hippocampus, and prevented delayed neuronal death of pyramidal cells in the hippocampal CA1 region in a transient forebrain ischemia gerbil model. In the present study, for the purpose of clarifying whether the endogenous antioxidant enzymes contribute to these mechanisms, we investigated the effects of Choto-san extract (CSE) and Uncaria sinensis extract (USE) on superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT) and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) activities in the brain by using the same experimental model. 1.0% CSE or 3.0% USE were dissolved in water and provided to gerbils ad libitum from 7 days prior to ischemia/reperfusion (i/rp). Seven days of continuous administrations of CSE or USE without i/rp procedure enhanced CAT activity but not SOD and GSH-Px activities in both the hippocampus and cortex. CSE elevated CAT activity in the hippocampus at 7 days and in the cortex at 3h after i/rp. USE raised CAT activity in both the hippocampus and cortex at 3 h and 7 days after i/rp. These results suggest that one of the mechanisms of the protective effects of CSE and USE against transient brain ischemia-induced neuronal damage may be their enhancing effect on CAT activity in the brain.

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