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Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013;2013:840487. doi: 10.1155/2013/840487. Epub 2013 Oct 27.

Hinokitiol, a natural tropolone derivative, offers neuroprotection from thromboembolic stroke in vivo.

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1
Department of Pharmacology, Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Taipei Medical University, 250 Wu-Hsing Street, Taipei 110, Taiwan.

Abstract

Hinokitiol ( β -thujaplicin), a tropolone-related compound found in the heartwood cupressaceous plants, is widely used in hair tonics, tooth pastes, cosmetics, and food as an antimicrobial agent. Increasing evidence has confirmed that hinokitiol exhibits anticancer activity in a variety of cancers through inhibition of cell proliferation. In the present study, we have investigated the neuroprotective effect and mechanisms of hinokitiol in rats against middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO)-induced thromboembolic stroke. Treatment with hinokitiol (0.2 and 0.5 mg/kg; intraperitoneally) 30 min before MCAO dose dependently attenuated cerebral ischemia and improved neurobehavioral deficits in cerebral ischemic rats. Intraperitoneal administration of hinokitiol significantly reduced infarct size compared to that in control rats. MCAO-induced focal cerebral ischemia was associated with increased expressions of hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-1 α , inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), tumor necrosis factor (TNF)- α , and active caspase-3 in ischemic regions. However, these expressions were obviously inhibited by hinokitiol (0.2 and 0.5 mg/kg) treatment. This study demonstrates for the first time that in addition to being originally considered as an agent against microbes and variety of cancers, hinokitiol possesses potent neuroprotective activity. This activity is mediated, at least in part, by inhibition of inflammatory responses (i.e., HIF-1 α , iNOS expression) and apoptosis (i.e., TNF- α , active caspase-3), resulting in a reduction of infarct volume and improvement in neurobehavior in rats with cerebral ischemia. Therefore, the therapeutic potential of hinokitiol may lead to novel role for treatment or prevention of ischemia/reperfusion injury-related disorders.

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