Role of Centella asiatica on cerebral post-ischemic reperfusion and long-term hypoperfusion in rats

M. Raghavendra, Rituparna Maiti, Shafalika Kumar, Anshuman Trigunayat, Sumit Mitra, S. B. Acharya


Centella asiatica (CA), a well known adaptogenic agent in Indian system of Medicine (Ayurveda), is believed to have beneficial effects in improving memory, treating anxiety and eczema. It also possesses antioxidant, cognitive enhancing and antiepileptic properties. Acute ischemia followed by reperfusion is known to bring about biochemical and histopathological alterations. In the present study the effect of Centella asiatica on acute cerebral reperfusion and long-term cerebral hypoperfusion in rats was investigated. Transient
cerebral ischemia was induced under Ketamine anaesthesia by blocking bilateral common carotid arteries (BCCAO) for 30 min and then reperfusion was allowed for 45 min by releasing the block. Lipid peroxidation, superoxide dismutase (SOD) and brain protein were estimated, behavioral and histopathological studies were done for both acute ischemia-reperfusion and chronic hypoperfusion studies. One way ANOVA followed by post hoc Tukey test was used. In the present study, acute ischemia-reperfusion induced increases in lipid peroxidation and superoxide SOD activity. CA pre-treatment (100 mg/kg p.o. for 5 days) attenuated the reperfusion induced
biochemical alterations. Long-term cerebral hypoperfusion in rats caused a propensity towards anxiety and listlessness (open field paradigm and elevated plus maze test) accompanied by deficits in learning and memory (Morris’ water maze testing) and tendency towards depression (Porsolts swim test). Additionally, histopathological observations in forebrain revealed changes like gliosis, astrocytosis, cellular edema and inflammatory changes. CA treatment (100 mg/kg p.o. for 28 days) alleviated these behavioral, cognitive and histopathological changes. The results suggest that CA may be useful in cerebrovascular insufficiency conditions.
Key words: Centella asiatica, cerebral hypoperfusion, ischemia-reperfusion injury

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