Icariside II (IRS) is a metabolite of icariin, which is derived from Herba Epimedii. Although the potential therapeutic effects of icariin on ischemic brain injury were well-investigated; the role of IRS in ischemic stroke is still not addressed clearly. Therefore, the current study aimed to evaluate the effects of IRS on cerebral ischemia-reperfusion injury in rats. The rats were pre-treated by IRS (10 or 30 mg kg-1, twice a day) for 3 days. After pre-treatment, a MCAO (middle cerebral artery occlusion) for 2 h followed by reperfusion for 24 h was applied on the rats to induce the cerebral ischemia injury model. The neurological deficit scores were assessed at 24 h after reperfusion, then animals were sacrificed, infarct volumes were determined by 2,3,5-triphenyltetrazolium chlorid (TTC) staining and protein expression levels of interleukin-1β (IL-1β), transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1), inhibitory κB (IκB), nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) p65, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α (PPAR α), and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPAR γ) were assayed by using Western blot. IRS pretreatment markedly improved the neurological dysfunction and decreased infarct volume in MCAO rats. In addition, IRS inhibited IL-1β and TGF-β1 protein expression, and resulted in beneficial effects such as inhibition of IκB-α degradation and NF-κB activation induced by MCAO, in a dose-dependent manner. Furthermore, IRS increased the protein expression levels of PPARα and PPARγ in the ischemic brain. In conclusion, pretreatment with IRS protects against cerebral ischemic/reperfusion injury via up-regulation of PPARα and PPARγ and inhibition of NF-κB activation.
- Icariside II
- Cerebral ischemia
- Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor
- Nuclear factor kappa B
- Nuclear factor κB