Dietary supplementation exerts neuroprotective effects in ischemic stroke model

Rejuvenation Res. 2008 Feb;11(1):201-14. doi: 10.1089/rej.2007.0608.


This study examined whether dietary supplementation can be used to protect against ischemic stroke. Two groups of adult male Sprague-Dawley rats initially received NT-020, a proprietary formulation of blueberry, green tea, Vitamin D3, and carnosine (n = 8), or vehicle (n = 7). Dosing for NT-020 and vehicle consisted of daily oral administration (using a gavage) over a 2-week period. On day 14 following the last drug treatment, all animals underwent the stroke surgery using the transient 1-hour suture occlusion of middle cerebral artery (MCAo). To reveal the functional effects of NT-020, animals were subjected to established behavioral tests just prior to stroke surgery and again on day 14 post-stroke. ANOVA revealed significant treatment effects (p < 0.05), characterized by reductions of 11.8% and 24.4% in motor asymmetry and neurologic dysfunction, respectively, in NT-020-treated stroke animals compared to vehicle-treated stroke animals. Evaluation of cerebral infarction revealed a significant 75% decrement in mean glial scar area in the ischemic striatum of NT-020-treated stroke animals compared to that of vehicle-treated stroke animals (p < 0.0005). Quantitative analysis of subventricular zone's cell proliferative activity revealed at least a one-fold increment in the number of BrdU-positive cells in the NT-020-treated stroke brains compared to vehicle-treated stroke brains (p < 0.0005). Similarly, quantitative analysis of BrdU labeling in the ischemic striatal penumbra revealed at least a three-fold increase in the number of BrdU-positive cells in the NT-020-treated stroke brains compared to vehicle-treated stroke brains (p < 0.0001). In addition, widespread double labeling of cells with BrdU and doublecortin was detected in NT-020-treated stroke brains (intact side 17% and ischemic side 75%), which was significantly higher than those seen in vehicle-treated stroke brains (intact side 5% and ischemic side 13%) (p < 0.05). In contrast, only a small number of cells in NT-020-treated stroke brains double labeled with BrdU and GFAP (intact side 1% and ischemic side 2%), which was significantly lower than those vehicle-treated stroke brains (intact side 18% and ischemic side 35%) (p < 0.0001). Endogenous neurogenic factors were also significantly upregulated in the ischemic brains of NT-020-treated stroke animals. These data demonstrate the remarkable neuroprotective effects of NT-020 when given prior to stroke, possibly acting via its neurogenic potential.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blueberry Plants / chemistry
  • Brain Ischemia / pathology*
  • Carnosine / pharmacology
  • Cell Differentiation / drug effects
  • Cholecalciferol / pharmacology
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Doublecortin Protein
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / pharmacology*
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / therapeutic use
  • Male
  • Nervous System Diseases / prevention & control
  • Neurons / drug effects
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Neuroprotective Agents / pharmacology*
  • Neuroprotective Agents / therapeutic use
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Stroke / pathology*
  • Tea / chemistry


  • Dcx protein, rat
  • Doublecortin Protein
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal
  • Neuroprotective Agents
  • Plant Extracts
  • Tea
  • Cholecalciferol
  • Carnosine