Protective effects of incensole acetate on cerebral ischemic injury

Brain Res. 2012 Mar 14:1443:89-97. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2012.01.001. Epub 2012 Jan 9.


The resin of Boswellia species is a major anti-inflammatory agent that has been used for centuries to treat various conditions including injuries and inflammatory conditions. Incensole acetate (IA), a major constituent of this resin, has been shown to inhibit NF-κB activation and concomitant inflammation, as well as the neurological deficit following head trauma. Here, we show that IA protects against ischemic neuronal damage and reperfusion injury in mice, attenuating the inflammatory nature of ischemic damage. IA given post-ischemia, reduced infarct volumes and improved neurological activities in the mouse model of ischemic injury in a dose dependent fashion. The protection from damage was accompanied by inhibition of TNF-α, IL-1β and TGF-β expression, as well as NF-κB activation following injury. In addition, IA is shown to have a therapeutic window of treatment up to 6h after ischemic injury. Finally, the protective effects of IA were partially mediated by TRPV3 channels as determined by the TRPV3 deficient mice and channel blocker studies. This study suggests that the anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective activities of IA may serve as a novel therapeutic treatment for ischemic and reperfusion injury, and as a tool in the ongoing research of mechanisms for neurological damage.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Brain Injuries / drug therapy*
  • Brain Injuries / metabolism
  • Brain Ischemia
  • Diterpenes / administration & dosage*
  • Mice
  • NF-kappa B / metabolism
  • Neuroprotective Agents / administration & dosage*


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Diterpenes
  • NF-kappa B
  • Neuroprotective Agents
  • incensole acetate