The aim of this study was to confirm the effects of ginsenoside Rb1 on neural cell apoptosis in the spinal cord of rats with spinal cord ischemia-reperfusion injury (SCII) and to explore its potential mechanisms. A total of 100 healthy adult Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats were randomly divided into four groups: normal control (n = 10), sham-operated (n = 10), SCII model (n = 40), and ginsenoside Rb1-treated groups (n = 40). Basso, Beattie, Bresnahan (BBB) scale was used to examine rat hindlimb locomotor function. Nissl and Tunnel staining were used to observe neural cell injury and apoptosis, respectively, in the spinal cord of rats with SCII. Immunofluorescence staining was performed to detect the expression of Bax and Bcl-2. The levels of caspase-3 and phosphorylated Ask-1 (p-Ask-1) were detected by western blotting. Ginsenoside Rb1 prevented neural cell apoptosis in the spinal cord and improved hindlimb locomotor dysfunction of rats (P < .05). Moreover, SCII-induced upregulation of caspase-3 and p-Ask-1 levels and the Bax/Bcl-2 ratio were significantly decreased by ginsenoside Rb1 (P < .05). The protective effects of ginsenoside Rb1 on neural cells in the spinal cord of rats with SCII were mediated by the ginsenoside Rb1-induced downregulation of caspase-3 and p-Ask-1 levels and the Bax/Bcl-2 ratio.
Keywords: Bax/Bcl-2 ratio; Ginsenoside Rb1; apoptosis; caspase-3; p-Ask-1; spinal cord ischemia-reperfusion injury (SCII).
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