Anti-inflammatory effects of vinpocetine on the functional expression of nuclear factor-kappa B and tumor necrosis factor-alpha in a rat model of cerebral ischemia-reperfusion injury

Neurosci Lett. 2014 Apr 30;566:247-51. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2014.02.045. Epub 2014 Mar 2.


Objective: The restoration of blood flow to the brain after ischemic stroke prevents further, extensive damage but can result in reperfusion injury. The inflammation response is one of many factors involved in cerebral ischemia-reperfusion injury. This study investigated the use of vinpocetine, a drug used to treat cognitive impairment, to explore its effects on inflammation in a rat model of cerebral ischemia-reperfusion.

Methods: Wistar rats were randomly assigned to a control group, (n=40) a cerebral ischemia-reperfusion group (n=52) and a vinpocetine cerebral ischemia-reperfusion group (n=52). A model of middle cerebral artery occlusion was induced for 2h followed by reperfusion and the infarct size was determined by 2,3,5-triphenyltetrazolium chloride (TTC) staining 6h, 24h, 3 days, and 7 days after reperfusion. The dry-wet weight method was used to measure brain water content and evaluate the extent of brain edema. Immunohistochemistry and in-situ hybridization were used to detect the expression of NF-κB and TNF-α.

Results: The NF-κB levels in ischemic brain tissue increased 6h after reperfusion and the TNF-α levels increased at 24h, both reached their peaks at day 3 then decreased gradually, but remained above the controls at day 7. Vinpocetine decreased the levels of NF-κB and TNF-α 24h and 3 days after reperfusion.

Conclusion: NF-κB and TNF-α is associated with changes in brain edema and infarct volume. Vinpocetine decreases the expression of NF-κB and TNF-α and inhibits the inflammatory response after cerebral ischemia-reperfusion.

Keywords: Inflammation; NF-κB; Reperfusion injury; TNF-α; Vinpocetine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / pharmacology*
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / therapeutic use
  • Brain Edema / drug therapy
  • Brain Edema / pathology
  • Brain Infarction / drug therapy
  • Brain Infarction / metabolism
  • Brain Infarction / pathology
  • Brain Ischemia / drug therapy
  • Brain Ischemia / metabolism*
  • Brain Ischemia / pathology
  • Male
  • NF-kappa B / metabolism*
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Reperfusion Injury / drug therapy
  • Reperfusion Injury / metabolism*
  • Reperfusion Injury / pathology
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / genetics
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / metabolism*
  • Vinca Alkaloids / pharmacology*
  • Vinca Alkaloids / therapeutic use


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • NF-kappa B
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Vinca Alkaloids
  • vinpocetine