Vinpocetine Inhibits NF-κB-Dependent Inflammation in Acute Ischemic Stroke Patients

Transl Stroke Res. 2018 Apr;9(2):174-184. doi: 10.1007/s12975-017-0549-z. Epub 2017 Jul 9.


Immunity and inflammation play critical roles in the pathogenesis of acute ischemic stroke. Therefore, immune intervention, as a new therapeutic strategy, is worthy of exploration. Here, we tested the inflammation modulator, vinpocetine, for its effect on the outcomes of stroke. For this multi-center study, we recruited 60 patients with anterior cerebral circulation occlusion and onset of stroke that had exceeded 4.5 h but lasted less than 48 h. These patients, after random division into two groups, received either standard management alone (controls) or standard management plus vinpocetine (30 mg per day intravenously for 14 consecutive days, Gedeon Richter Plc., Hungary). Vinpocetine treatment did not change the lymphocyte count; however, nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cell activation was inhibited as seen not only by the increased transcription of IκBα mRNA but also by the impeded phosphorylation and degradation of IκBα and subsequent induction of pro-inflammatory mediators. These effects led to significantly reduced secondary lesion enlargement and an attenuated inflammation reaction. Compared to controls, patients treated with vinpocetine had a better recovery of neurological function and improved clinical outcomes during the acute phase and at 3-month follow-up. These findings identify vinpocetine as an inflammation modulator that could improve clinical outcomes after acute ischemic stroke. This study also indicated the important role of immunity and inflammation in the pathogenesis of acute ischemic stroke and the significance of immunomodulatory treatment.

Clinical trial registration information: . Identifier: NCT02878772.

Keywords: Immunoregulation; Inflammation; Stroke; Vinpocetine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Brain Ischemia / complications
  • C-Reactive Protein / genetics
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism
  • Cytokines / genetics
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Inflammation* / drug therapy
  • Inflammation* / etiology
  • Inflammation* / metabolism
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / drug effects
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / metabolism
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • NF-kappa B / genetics
  • NF-kappa B / metabolism*
  • Neuroprotective Agents / therapeutic use*
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Stroke / complications*
  • Stroke / diagnostic imaging
  • Stroke / etiology
  • Time Factors
  • Vinca Alkaloids / therapeutic use*


  • Cytokines
  • NF-kappa B
  • Neuroprotective Agents
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Vinca Alkaloids
  • vinpocetine
  • C-Reactive Protein

Associated data