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Sci Rep. 2015 Nov 5;5:16151. doi: 10.1038/srep16151.

Wnt/β-catenin coupled with HIF-1α/VEGF signaling pathways involved in galangin neurovascular unit protection from focal cerebral ischemia.

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Institute of Chinese Materia Medica, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing 100700, China.
State Key Laboratory of Quality Research in Chinese Medicine, Institute of Chinese Medical Sciences, University of Macau, Macao, 999078, China.
Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing 100029, China.
The first Affiliated Hospital of Xinjiang Medical University, Xinjiang, 830054, China.
Beijing No.166 High School, Beijing 100006, China.


Microenvironmental regulation has become a promising strategy for complex disease treatment. The neurovascular unit (NVU), as the key structural basis to maintain an optimal brain microenvironment, has emerged as a new paradigm to understand the pathology of stroke. In this study, we investigated the effects of galangin, a natural flavonoid isolated from the rhizome of Alpina officinarum Hance, on NVU microenvironment improvement and associated signal pathways in rats impaired by middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO). Galangin ameliorated neurological scores, cerebral infarct volume and cerebral edema and reduced the concentration of Evans blue (EB) in brain tissue. NVU ultrastructural changes were also improved by galangin. RT-PCR and western blot revealed that galangin protected NVUs through the Wnt/β-catenin pathway coupled with HIF-1α and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). VEGF and β-catenin could be the key nodes of these two coupled pathways. In conclusion, Galangin might function as an anti-ischemic stroke drug by improving the microenvironment of NVUs.

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