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Iran J Pharm Res. 2016 Fall;15(4):875-883.

The Neuroprotective Effect of Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis L.) Hydro-alcoholic Extract on Cerebral Ischemic Tolerance in Experimental Stroke.

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Department of Physiology, Faculty of Biological Sciences, Kharazmi University, Tehran, Iran.
Department of Physiology, Islamic Azad University - Zanjan Branch, Zanjan, Iran.
Department of Physiology, Faculty of Biological Sciences, Shahid Beheshti University, G.C., Tehran, Iran.
Department of Chemical Engineering, Medicinal Plants & Drugs Research Institute, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran.


The prevention of BBB breakdown and the subsequent vasogenic edema are important parts of the medical management of ischemic stroke. The purpose of this study was to investigate the ischemic tolerance effect of Rosmarinus officinalis leaf hydro-alcoholic extract (RHE). Five groups of animals were designed: sham (underwent surgery without MCAO) and MCAO groups, the MCAO groups were pretreated orally by gavages with RHE (50, 75, and 100 mg/Kg/day), daily for 30 days. Two hours after the last dose, serum lipid levels were determined and then the rats were subjected to 60 min of middle cerebral artery occlusion followed by 24 h of reperfusion. Subsequently, brain infarct size, brain edema and Evans Blue dye extravasations were measured and neurological deficits were scored. Dietary RHE could significantly reduce cortical and sub-cortical infarct volumes (211.55 ± 24.88 mm3vs. 40.59 ± 10.04 mm3vs. 29.96 ± 12.19 mm3vs. 6.58 ± 3.2 mm3), neurologic deficit scores, cerebral edema (82.34 ± 0.42% vs. 79.92 ± 0.49% vs. 79.45 ± 0.26% vs. 79.30 ± 0.19%), blood-brain barrier (BBB) permeability (7.73 ± 0.4 μg/g tissue vs. 4.1 ± 0.23 μg/g tissue vs. 3.58 ± 0.3 μg/g tissue vs. 3.38 ± 0.25 μg/g tissue) in doses of 50, 75 and 100 mg/Kg/day as compared with the control group in the transient model of focal cerebral ischemia. Although pretreatment with RHE plays an important role in the generation of tolerance against cerebral I/R injury, further studies are needed to clarify the mechanism of the ischemic tolerance.


Blood–brain barrier permeability; Brain edema; Cerebral ischemia reperfusion; Infarct volume; Neuro-protective; Rosemary leaf hydro-alcoholic extract


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