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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 53  |  Page : 134-139

Rhubarb attenuates cerebral edema via inhibition of the extracellular signal-regulated kinase pathway following traumatic brain injury in rats

1 Department of Integrated Traditional Chinese Medicine, Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, 410008, China
2 Department of Key Laboratory of Traditional Chinese Medicine for Classical Theory, Ministry of Education, Shangdong University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Jinan 250355, China
3 Department of Integrated Traditional Chinese and Western Medicine, 2nd Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, 410011 Changsha, China
4 Department of Cardiovascular Surgery, Xiangya Hosipital, Central South University, 410008 Changsha, China

Correspondence Address:
Wei Liu
Department of Cardiovascular Surgry, Xiangya Hosipital, Central South University, 410008 Changsha
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/pm.pm_218_17

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Background: Rhubarb is a traditional Chinese medicine for treating traumatic brain injury (TBI). Purpose: The purpose of this study is to elucidate the potential mechanism of rhubarb by suppressing extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) to ameliorate brain edema. Materials and Methods: Sprague-Dawley rats were separated into four groups at random. One group received 3 g/kg rhubarb, and another group received 12 g/kg rhubarb, and the vehicle group and sham group were administered the same dose of saline solution. The blood–brain barrier disruption and edema were detected by Evans blue extravasation and water content, respectively. ERK, Matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP-9), and zonula occluden-1 (ZO-1) in the damaged tissue were measured by western blot analysis and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. Results: Rhubarb attenuated the brain edema after TBI, especially at the dose of 12 g/kg. Rhubarb significantly suppressed ERK, down-regulated MMP-9, and up-regulated ZO-1. Rhubarb might be a prospective therapeutic regimen to decrease edema in TBI. Conclusions: Rhubarb alleviates the edema by restraining the ERK signaling pathway. Our results contribute to the validation of the traditional use of rhubarb in the treatment of TBI and its mechanism. Abbreviations used: TBI: Traumatic brain injury, ERK: Extracellular signal-regulated kinase pathway, MMP-9: Matrix metalloproteinase 9, ZO-1: Zonula occluden-1, BBB: Blood-brain barrier, PCR: Polymerase chain reaction, TCM: Traditional Chinese medicine, MAPKs: Mitogen-activated protein kinases, CCI: Controlled cortical impact, DL: Rhubarb 3 g/kg in distilled water, DH: Rhubarb 12 g/kg in distilled water, EB: Evans blue, IOD: Integral optical density, MEK: Mitogen extracellular kinase, MMPs: Matrix metalloproteinases, NADPH: Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate: ROS, reactive oxygen species.

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