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Open Access Acute Treatment With Herbal Extracts Provides Neuroprotective Benefits in In Vitro and In Vivo Stroke Models, Characterized by Reduced Ischemic Cell Death and Maintenance of Motor and Neurological Functions

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The present study explored the prophylactic and restorative benefits of cacao and red sage using both in vitro and in vivo models of stroke. For the in vitro study, we initially exposed primary rat cells to the established oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD) stroke model followed by reperfusion under normoxic conditions, then added different cacao and sage concentrations to the cell culture media. Trypan blue cell viability results revealed specific cacao and sage dosages exerted significant therapeutic effects against OGD-induced cell death compared to cultured cells treated with extract vehicle. We next embarked on testing the therapeutic effects of cacao and sage in an in vivo model of stroke when extract treatment commenced either prior to or after transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAo). Significant reduction in ischemic cell death within the peri-infarct area coupled with better performance in routine motor and neurological tasks were demonstrated by stroke animals that received cacao or sage extracts prior to MCAo compared to those that received the extracts or vehicle after MCAo. In summary, the present results demonstrate that neuroprotective effects were afforded by plant extract treatment, and that the in vitro stroke paradigm approximates in vivo efficacy when considering prophylactic treatment for stroke.

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Keywords: Middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAo); Oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD); Plant extracts; Prophylactic; Stroke

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2010

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