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Neuroprotective effects of puerarin in neonatal rats with hypoxic-ischemic brain damage

JIANG Hong1,WANG Ling2,ZHANG Yi-He1,LIU Shi-Ping1,LIU Guang-Zhong1 1Department of Pediatrics,Affiliated Hospital of Yan'an Univer-sity,Yan'an 716000,China,2Department of Pediatrics,Tangdu Hospital,Fourth Military Medical University,Xi'an 710038,China  
AIM:To observe the changes in nitric oxide(NO)and nitric oxide synthase(NOS)levels and neuronal apoptosis in the brains of neonatal rats after hypoxic-ischemic brain damage(HIBD)and to explore the neuroprotective effect of puerarin against HIBD and its underlying mechanisms.METHODS:The HIBD models were made with 7-day-old SD rats using classical methods.The puerarin treated group were injected puerarin 50 mg/kg twice via abdominal cavity early after hypoxia-ischemia(HI).NO and NOS levels and the number of apoptotic neurons in the brain were determined at different times after HI.RESULTS:NO and NOS levels in the brain were increased after HIBD in neonatal rats(P0.05).Apoptosis of neurons in hippocampal CA1 region was observed 6 h after HIBD and increased obviously at 24 h.In the puerarin group,NO and NOS levels in the brain were decreased obviously at 24 h(P0.05)and the number of apoptotic neurons was much lower than that in HIBD group,especially at 24 h(P0.05).CONCLUSION:Puerarin administration has cerebral protective effects on neonatal rats with HIBD,and it acts by depressing the expression of NOS and the excessive production of NO.
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