Oxidative stress and frequently unwanted alterations in mitochondrial structure and function are key aspects of the pathological cascade in transient focal cerebral ischemia. Chikusetsu saponin V (CHS V), a major component of saponins from Panax japonicas, can attenuate HO-induced oxidative stress in SH-SY5Y cells.
The aim of the present study was to investigate the neuroprotective effects and the possible underlying mechanism of CHS V on transient focal cerebral ischemia/reperfusion.
Mice with middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) and cultured cortical neurons exposed to oxygen glucose deprivation (OGD) were used as in vivo and in vitro models of cerebral ischemia, respectively. The neurobehavioral scores, infarction volumes, H&E staining and some antioxidant levels in the brain were evaluated. The occurrence of neuronal death was estimated. Total and mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels, as well as mitochondrial potential were measured using flow cytometry analysis. Mitochondrial structure and respiratory activity were also examined. Protein levels were investigated by western blotting and immunohistochemistry.
CHS V effectively attenuated cerebral ischemia/reperfusion (CI/R) injury, including improving neurological deficits, shrinking infarct volume and reducing the number of apoptotic cells. Furthermore, CHS V treatment remarkably increased antioxidant levels and reduced ROS levels and mitochondrial damage by enhancing the expression and deacetylation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ coactivator-1α (PGC-1α) by activating AMPK and SIRT-1, respectively.
Our data demonstrated that CHS V prevented CI/R injury by suppressing oxidative stress and mitochondrial damage through the modulation of PGC-1α with AMPK and SIRT-1.

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