The pathophysiology of ischemic stroke involves multiple events such as inflammation and oxidative stress which will lead to neuronal death and cognitive deficits. The (-)-α-bisabolol is a monocyclic sesquiterpene alcohol found in various plants and mainly in Matricaria chamomilla, which exerts antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-apoptotic activities. The aim of this work was to investigate the neuroprotective effects of (-)-α-bisabolol in mice underwent permanent occlusion of the middle cerebral artery (pMCAO). Animals were treated with (-)-α-bisabolol (50, 100 and 200 mg/kg/day, orally) or vehicle (3% tween 80) one day before and 1 h after pMCAO and the treatment continued once daily for the following five days. The treatment with (-)-α-bisabolol (100 and 200 mg/kg) significantly reduced the infarcted area and neurological deficits caused by pMCAO. (-)-α-bisabolol at the 200 mg/kg dose increased cell viability and decreased neuronal degeneration, as evaluated by cresyl violet and Fluoro-Jade C stainings, respectively. (-)-α-bisabolol also increased the locomotor activity which was reduced by cerebral ischemia and improved pMCAO-induced working, spatial, object recognition, and aversive memories deficits. (-)-α-bisabolol (200 mg/kg) significantly prevented the increase of myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity, TNF-α immunoreactivity in the temporal cortex, and the increase of iNOS both in the temporal cortex and in the striatum. (-)-α-bisabolol treatment also prevented astrogliosis in these areas. These data showed that (-)-α-bisabolol provides neuroprotective action probably due to its anti-inflammatory activity, although other mechanisms cannot be discarded.
Keywords: Brain ischemia; Inflammation; Memory; Neuroprotective effect; α-bisabolol.
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