Effects of ${\alpha}$-Asarone against Global Cerebral Ischemia in Rats

  • Kim, Young-Ock (Herbal Crop Processing Research Team Department of Herbal Crop Research National Institute of Horticultural & Herbal Science Rural Development Administration) ;
  • Kwon, Yong-Soo (Department of Pharmacy, College of Pharmacy, Kangwon National University) ;
  • Lee, Seong-Eun (Herbal Crop Processing Research Team Department of Herbal Crop Research National Institute of Horticultural & Herbal Science Rural Development Administration) ;
  • Lee, Sang-Won (Herbal Crop Processing Research Team Department of Herbal Crop Research National Institute of Horticultural & Herbal Science Rural Development Administration) ;
  • Lee, Hee-Jae (Department of pharmacology, College of Medicine, Kangwon National University)
  • Published : 2009.12.31


Based on the use of Acorus gramineus SOLAND (AG) for the treatment of stroke in traditional Korean medicine, the present study was carried out to evaluate neuroprotective effects of ${\alpha}$-asarone after transient global cerebral ischemia using rat 4-vessel occlusion (4VO) model in rats. ${\alpha}$-Asarone (5 mg/kg) administered intraperitoneally significantly protected CA1 neurons against 10 min transient forebrain ischemia as demonstrated by measuring the density of neuronal cells stained with Cresyl violet. ${\alpha}$-Asarone significantly reduced hippocampal neuronal cell death by 85.2% where as its isolated single compounds from AG compared with a vehicle-treated group.


  1. Ader, R, Wejnen, J.A.W.M., and Moleman, P., Retention of passive avoidance response as a function of the intensity and duration of electric shock. Psycon. Sci. 26, 125-128 (1972)
  2. Barnes, C.A., Spatial learning and memory process: the search for their neurological mechanisms in the rats. Trends Neurosci. 11, 163-169 (1988) https://doi.org/10.1016/0166-2236(88)90143-9
  3. Cho, J., Joo, N.E., Kong, J.Y., Jeong, D.Y., Lee, K.D., and Kang, B. S., Inhibition of excitotoxic neuronal death by methanol extract of Acori graminei rhizoma in cultured rat cortical neurons. J Ethnopharmacol. 73, 31-37 (2000) https://doi.org/10.1016/S0378-8741(00)00262-2
  4. Cho, J., Kong J.Y., Jeong D.Y., Lee K.D., Lee D.U., and Kang B.S., NMDA receptor-mediated neuroprotection by essential oils from rhizomes of Acorus gramineus. Life Sci 68,1567-1573 (2001) https://doi.org/10.1016/S0024-3205(01)00944-4
  5. Choi, D.W., Ischemia-induced neuronal apoptosis. Curr. Opin. Neurobiol. 6, 667-672 (1996) https://doi.org/10.1016/S0959-4388(96)80101-2
  6. Chun, H.S., Kim, J.M., Choi, E.H., and Chang, N., Neuroprotective effects of several Korean medicinal plants traditionally used for stroke remedy. J. Med. Food 2, 246-251 (2008) https://doi.org/10.1089/jmf.2007.542.
  7. Colbounce, F., and Corben, D., Delayed and prolonged post-ischemic hypothermia is neuroprotection in the gerbil. Brain Res. 654, 265-272 (1994) https://doi.org/10.1016/0006-8993(94)90488-X
  8. Dandiya, P. C. and Cullumbine, H. Studies on Acorus calamus (III): Some pharmacological actions of the volatile oil. J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther. 125, 353-359 (1959)
  9. Dandiya, P.C. and Sharma, J.D., Studies on Acorus calamus (V): Pharmacological action of asarone and $\beta$-asarone on central nervous system. Indian J. Med. Res. 50, 46-60 (1962)
  10. Fibiger, H.C., Central cholinergic systems and memory. in Squire, L.R., Lindenlaub, E. (eds.), The Biology of Memory, Symposia Medica, Hoechst. New York' Springer-Verlag, 1990, pp. 35-47
  11. Ginsberg, M.D. and Busto, R., Rodent models of cerebral ischemia. Stroke; 20, 1627-1642 (1989)
  12. Ilhuicamina, D.Lim$\acute{o}$n., Liliana, M., Alfonso, D$\acute{i}$az., Germ$\acute{a}$nm,C., Blanca, E., and Edgar, Z., Neuroprotective effect of alpha-asarone on spatial memory and nitric oxide levels in rats injected with amyloid-$beta_{(25-35)}$35). Neurosci. Lett. 453, 98-103 (2009) https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neulet.2009.02.011
  13. Kirino, T. and Sano, K., Selective vulnerability in the gerbil hippocampus following transient ischemia. Acta Neuropathol. 62, 201-208 (1984) https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00691853
  14. Kirino, T., Delayed neuronal death in the gerbil hippocampus following ischemia. Brain Res. 239, 57-69 (1982) https://doi.org/10.1016/0006-8993(82)90833-2
  15. Mori, K., Yoshioka, M., Suda, N., Togashi, H., Matsumoto, M., Ueno, K., and Saito, H., An incomplete cerebral ischemia produced a delayed dysfunction in the rat hippocampal system. Brain Res. 795, 21-226 (1998) https://doi.org/10.1016/S0006-8993(98)00295-9
  16. Pulsinelli, W.A., and Brierley, J.B., A new model of bilateral hemispheric ischemia in the unanesthetized rat. Stroke 10, 871-877 (1979)
  17. Pulsinelli, W.A., Brierley, J.B., and Plum, F., Temporal profile of neuronal damage in a model of transient forebrain ischemia. Ann. Neurol. 11, 491-498 (1982) https://doi.org/10.1002/ana.410110509
  18. Senda, T., Matsuno, K., Kobayashi, T., and Mita, S., Reduction of scopolamine induced impairment of passive avoidance performance by a- receptor agonist in mice. Physiol. Behav. 61, 257-264 (1997) https://doi.org/10.1016/S0031-9384(96)00447-7
  19. Watanabe, H., Candidates for cognitive enhancer extracted from medicinal plants: Paeoniflorin and tetramethylpyrazine. Behav. Brain Res. 83, 135-141 (1997) https://doi.org/10.1016/S0166-4328(97)86057-3
  20. Xuejiang, W., Magara, T., and Konishi, T., Prevention and repair of cerebral ischemia-reperfusion injury by Chinese herbal medicine, shengmai san, in rats. Free Radic. Res. 31, 449-455 (1999) https://doi.org/10.1080/10715769900301011
  21. Zeng, Y., and Xu, Z.C., Co-exsistence of necrosis and apoptosis in rat hippocampus following transient forebrain ischemia. Neurosci. Res. 237, 113-125 (2000) https://doi.org/10.1016/S0168-0102(00)00107-3