Angiogenesis in ischemic stroke and angiogenic effects of Chinese herbal medicine

Sai Wang Seto, Dennis Chang, Anita Jenkins, Alan Bensoussan, Hosen Kiat

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Stroke is one of the major causes of death and adult disability worldwide. The underlying pathophysiology of stroke is highly complicated, consisting of impairments of multiple signalling pathways, and numerous pathological processes such as acidosis, glutamate excitotoxicity, calcium overload, cerebral inflammation and reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation. The current treatment for ischemic stroke is limited to thromolytics such as recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (tPA). tPA has a very narrow therapeutic window, making it suitable to only a minority of stroke patients. Hence, there is great urgency to develop new therapies that can protect brain tissue from ischemic damage. Recent studies have shown that new vessel formation after stroke not only replenishes blood flow to the ischemic area of the brain, but also promotes neurogenesis and improves neurological functions in both animal models and patients. Therefore, drugs that can promote angiogenesis after ischemic stroke can provide therapeutic benefits in stroke management. In this regard, Chinese herbal medicine (CHM) has a long history in treating stroke and the associated diseases. A number of studies have demonstrated the pro-angiogenic effects of various Chinese herbs and herbal formulations in both in vitro and in vivo settings. In this article, we present a comprehensive review of the current knowledge on angiogenesis in the context of ischemic stroke and discuss the potential use of CHM in stroke management through modulation of angiogenesis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number56
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jun 2016

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2016 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • stroke
  • Chinese Herbal Medicine
  • angiogenesis
  • cerebral ischemia

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