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Neural Regen Res. 2016 Mar;11(3):487-92. doi: 10.4103/1673-5374.179068.

Salvianolic acid B protects the myelin sheath around injured spinal cord axons.

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Hand & Foot Surgery and Reparative & Reconstruction Surgery Center, the Second Hospital of Jilin University, Changchun, Jilin Province, China.
Department of Physiology, Guangdong Medical University, Dongguan, Guangdong Province, China.


Salvianolic acid B, an active pharmaceutical compound present in Salvia miltiorrhiza, exerts a neuroprotective effect in animal models of brain and spinal cord injury. Salvianolic acid B can promote recovery of neurological function; however, its protective effect on the myelin sheath after spinal cord injury remains poorly understood. Thus, in this study, in vitro tests showed that salvianolic acid B contributed to oligodendrocyte precursor cell differentiation, and the most effective dose was 20 μg/mL. For in vivo investigation, rats with spinal cord injury were intraperitoneally injected with 20 mg/kg salvianolic acid B for 8 weeks. The amount of myelin sheath and the number of regenerating axons increased, neurological function recovered, and caspase-3 expression was decreased in the spinal cord of salvianolic acid B-treated animals compared with untreated control rats. These results indicate that salvianolic acid B can protect axons and the myelin sheath, and can promote the recovery of neurological function. Its mechanism of action is likely to be associated with inhibiting apoptosis and promoting the differentiation and maturation of oligodendrocyte precursor cells.


myelin sheath; nerve regeneration; neural regeneration; oligodendrocytes; salvianolic acid B; spinal cord injury

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