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Can J Physiol Pharmacol. 2014 Mar;92(3):252-8. doi: 10.1139/cjpp-2013-0398. Epub 2014 Jan 8.

The anti-apoptotic and anti-inflammatory properties of puerarin attenuate 3-nitropropionic-acid induced neurotoxicity in rats.

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a Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Ain Shams University, Monazamet Al-Wehdah Al-Efrikeya Street, Abbassia, Cairo, Egypt.

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  • Can J Physiol Pharmacol. 2014 May;92(5):427. Abdel-Naim, Ashraf [corrected to Abdel-Naim, Ashraf B].


Puerarin (Pur), an isoflavonoid extracted from the dried roots of Pueraria lobata, has been reported to be useful in the treatment of various diseases. This study was designed to evaluate the anti-apoptotic and anti-inflammatory activities of Pur against 3-nitropropionic acid (3-NP) induced neurotoxicity. For 5 consecutive days, male Wistar rats were given Pur (200 mg/kg body mass) 30 min before treatment with 20 mg/kg body mass of 3-NP. The striata, hippocampi, and cortices of the 3-NP treated group showed apoptotic damage, inflammation, and energy deficit as well as histopathological lesions. The 3-NP-induced alteration in apoptotic biomarkers (caspase-3 activity/level, cytosolic cytochrome c, Bax/Bcl-2 levels) were significantly ameliorated by Pur treatment. Moreover, Pur pretreatment blocked 3-NP-induced inflammatory biomarkers (NF-κB, TNF-α, and iNOS) and prevented the energy deficit (ATP reduction). Nissl staining further confirmed Pur's neuroprotective effect. These results indicate that Pur may be a useful preventive approach to various neurodegenerative diseases with underlying apoptosis and neuroinflammation.

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