Danhong Injection Combined With t-PA Improves Thrombolytic Therapy in Focal Embolic Stroke.
ABSTRACT: Background: Hemorrhagic transformation, neurotoxicity, short treatment time windows, and other defects are considered as the major limitations for the thrombolytic therapy. This study is devoted to figure out whether Danhong injection (DHI) combined with tissue-plasminogen activator (t-PA) could extend the treatment time windows and ameliorate brain injury, hemorrhagic complication and BBB disruption after focal embolic stroke. Methods:In vitro, the combined concentrations of DHI and t-PA were added to wells reacted with plasminogen and D-Val-Leu-Lys-AMC. The optimum ratio of the combination of DHI plus t-PA was explored by detecting relative fluorescent. In vivo experiments, we firstly investigated the optimal dose of t-PA and Danhong injection for focal embolic stroke. The neurological deficit score, infarct volume and brain edema were assessed. Secondly, we proved that the combination group extended the thrombolytic window for treatment of focal embolic stroke. The neurological deficit score, infarct volume, brain edema and hemorrhagic complication were assessed, while levels of BAX, Bcl-2 and caspase-3 in brain tissue were analyzed by real-time polymerase chain reaction. Finally, to ask whether combination therapy with DHI plus t-PA protected the blood-brain barrier in a rat model of focal embolic stroke, neurological deficit score, ELISA, RT-PCR, western blot and fluorescence were used to detect the indicators of blood-brain barrier, such as tight junction protein, blood-brain barrier permeability and related gene expression. Results:In vitro, plasmin activity assays showed that the combination of t-PA with DHI at about 1:1.6 w/v ratio increased by almost 1.4-fold the plasmin-generating capability of t-PA. In vivo experiments, the results showed that the combination of Danhong injection (4 mL/kg) and t-PA (2.5 mg/kg) could extend the t-PA treatment time windows to 4.5 h. And the combination t-PA (2.5 mg/kg) with DHI (4 mL/kg) ameliorated neurological score, cerebral infarction, brain edema, brain hemorrhage, and BBB disruption. Conclusion: Combination therapy with Danhong injection (4 mL/kg) plus t-PA (2.5 mg/kg) could extend the t-PA treatment time windows to 4.5 h, ameliorate BBB disruption, reduce infarction, brain swelling and hemorrhage after ischemic stroke.
Project description:To provide evidence for the better clinical use of traditional Chinese medicine preparations (TCMPs), comparison of the pharmacological mechanisms between TCMPs with similar therapeutic effect is necessary. However, methodology for dealing with this issue is still scarce. Danhong injection (DHI) and Naoxintong capsule (NXT) are representative TCMPs for ischemic stroke (IS) treatment, which are also frequently used in combination. Here they were employed as research objects to demonstrate the feasibility of systems pharmacology approach in elucidation of the independent and combined effect of TCMPs. By incorporating chemical screening, target prediction, and network construction, a feasible systems pharmacology model has been established to systematically uncover the underlying action mechanisms of DHI, NXT, or their pair in IS treatment. Systematic analysis of the created TCMP-Compound-Target-Disease network revealed that DHI and NXT shared common targets such as PTGS2, F2, ADRB1, IL6, ALDH2, and CCL2, which were involved in the vasomotor system regulation, blood-brain barrier disruption, redox imbalance, neurotrophin activity, and brain inflammation. In comparative mechanism study, the merged DHI/NXT-IS PPI network and pathway enrichment analysis indicated that DHI and NXT exerted the therapeutic effects mainly through immune system and VEGF signaling pathways. Meanwhile, they had their own unique pathways, e.g., calcium signaling pathway for DHI and gap junction for NXT. While for their synergistic mechanism, DHI and NXT participated in chemokine signaling pathway, T cell receptor signaling pathway, VEGF signaling pathway, gap junction, and so on. Our study provided an optimized strategy for dissecting the different and combined effect of TCMPs with similar actions.
Project description:Ischemic brain injury impacts cardiac dysfunction depending on the part of the brain affected, with a manifestation of irregular blood pressure, arrhythmia, and heart failure. Generally called brain-heart syndrome in traditional Chinese medicine, few mechanistic understanding and treatment options are available at present. We hypothesize that considering the established efficacy for both ischemic stroke and myocardial infarction (MI), Danhong injection (DHI), a multicomponent Chinese patent medicine, may have a dual pharmacological potential for treating the brain-heart syndrome caused by cerebral ischemic stroke through its multi-targeted mechanisms. We investigated the role of DHI in the setting of brain-heart syndrome and determined the mechanism by which it regulates this process. We induced Ischemia/Reperfusion in Wistar rats and administered intravenous dose of DHI twice daily for 14 days. We assessed the neurological state, infarct volume, CT scan, arterial blood pressure, heart rhythm, and the hemodynamics. We harvested the brain and heart tissues for immunohistochemistry and western blot analyses. Our data show that DHI exerts potent anti-stroke effects (infarct volume reduction: ??p < 0.01 and ???p < 0.001 vs. vehicle. Neurological deficit correction: ?p < 0.05 and ???p < 0.001 vs. vehicle), and effectively reversed the abnormal arterial pressure (?p < 0.05 vs. vehicle) and heart rhythm (??p < 0.01 vs. vehicle). The phenotype of this brain-heart syndrome is strikingly similar to those of MI model. Quantitative assessment of hemodynamic in cardiac functionality revealed a positive uniformity in the PV-loop after administration with DHI and valsartan in the latter. Immunohistochemistry and western blot results showed the inhibitory effect of DHI on the ?-adrenergic pathway as well as protein kinase C epsilon (PKC?) (??p < 0.01 vs. model). Our data showed the underlying mechanisms of the brain-heart interaction and offer the first evidence that DHI targets the adrenergic pathway to modulate cardiac function in the setting of brain-heart syndrome. This study has made a novel discovery for proper application of the multi-target DHI and could serve as a therapeutic option in the setting of brain-heart syndrome.
Project description:Tissue-type plasminogen activator (tPA) in combination with recombinant annexin A2 (rA2) is known to reduce acute brain damage after focal ischemia. Here, we ask whether tPA-plus-rA2 combination therapy can lead to sustained long-term neurological improvements as well.We compared the effects of intravenous high-dose tPA alone (10 mg/kg) versus a combination of low-dose tPA (5 mg/kg) plus 10 mg/kg rA2 in a model of focal embolic cerebral ischemia in rats. All rats were treated at 3 hours after embolization. Brain tissue and neurological outcomes were assessed at 1 month. Surrogate biomarkers for endogenous neurovascular remodeling in peri-infarct area were analyzed by immunohistochemistry.Compared with high-dose tPA alone, low-dose tPA-plus-rA2 significantly decreased infarction and improved neurological function at 1-month poststroke. In peri-infarct areas, tPA-plus-rA2 combination therapy also significantly augmented microvessel density, vascular endothelial growth factor, and synaptophysin expression.Compared with conventional high-dose tPA alone, combination low-dose tPA plus rA2 therapy may provide a safe and effective way to improve long-term neurological outcomes after stroke.
Project description:Systematic investigations of complex pathological cascades during ischemic brain injury help to elucidate novel therapeutic targets against cerebral ischemia. Although some transcription factors (TFs) involved in cerebral ischemia, systematic surveys of their changes during ischemic brain injury have not been reported. Moreover, some multi-target agents effectively protected against ischemic stroke, but their mechanisms, especially the targets of TFs, are still unclear. Therefore, a comprehensive approach by integrating network pharmacology strategy and a new concatenated tandem array of consensus transcription factor response elements method to systematically investigate the target TFs critical in the protection against cerebral ischemia by a medication was first reported, and then applied to a multi-target drug, Danhong injection (DHI). High-throughput nature and depth of coverage, as well as high quantitative accuracy of the developed approach, make it more suitable for analyzing such multi-target agents. Results indicated that pre-B-cell leukemia transcription factor 1 and cyclic AMP-dependent transcription factor 1, along with six other TFs, are putative target TFs for DHI-mediated protection against cerebral ischemia. This study provides, for the first time, a systematic investigation of the target TFs critical to DHI-mediated protection against cerebral ischemia, as well as reveals more potential therapeutic targets for ischemic stroke.
Project description:Although Danhong injection (DHI) is the most widely prescribed Chinese medicine for both stroke and coronary artery disease (CAD), its underlying common molecular mechanisms remain unclear. An integrated network pharmacology and experimental verification approach was used to decipher common pharmacological mechanisms of DHI on stroke and CAD treatment. A compound-target-disease & function-pathway network was constructed and analyzed, indicating that 37 ingredients derived from DH (Salvia miltiorrhiza Bge., Flos Carthami tinctorii and DHI) modulated 68 common targets shared by stroke and CAD. In-depth network analysis results of the top diseases, functions, pathways and upstream regulators implied that a common underlying mechanism linking DHI's role in stroke and CAD treatment was inflammatory response in the process of atherosclerosis. Experimentally, DHI exerted comprehensive anti-inflammatory effects on LPS, ox-LDL or cholesterol crystal-induced NF-?B, c-jun and p38 activation, as well as IL-1?, TNF-?, and IL-10 secretion in vascular endothelial cells. Ten of 14 predicted ingredients were verified to have significant anti-inflammatory activities on LPS-induced endothelial inflammation. DHI exerts pharmacological efficacies on both stroke and CAD through multi-ingredient, multi-target, multi-function and multi-pathway mode. Anti-endothelial inflammation therapy serves as a common underlying mechanism. This study provides a new understanding of DHI in clinical application on cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases.
Project description:Recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (rt-PA) is used to treat acute ischemic stroke but is only effective if administered within 4.5 h after stroke onset. Delayed rt-PA treatment causes blood-brain barrier (BBB) disruption and hemorrhagic transformation. The compound 2-(-2-benzofuranyl)-2-imidazoline (2-BFI), a newly discovered antagonist of high-affinity postsynaptic N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors, has been shown to have neuroprotective effects in ischemia. Here, we investigated whether combining 2-BFI and rt-PA can ameliorate BBB disruption and prolong the therapeutic window in a rat model of embolic middle cerebral artery occlusion (eMCAO). Ischemia was induced in male Sprague Dawley rats by eMCAO, after which they were treated with 2-BFI (3 mg/kg) at 0.5 h in combination with rt-PA (10 mg/kg) at 6 or 8 h. Control rats were treated with saline or 2-BFI or rt-PA. Combined therapy with 2-BFI and rt-PA (6 h) reduced the infarct volume, denatured cell index, BBB permeability, and brain edema. This was associated with increased expression of aquaporin 4 (AQP4) and tight junction proteins (occludin and ZO-1) and downregulation of intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1) and matrix metalloproteinases 2 and 9 (MMP2 and MMP9). We conclude that 2-BFI protects the BBB from damage caused by delayed rt-PA treatment in ischemia. 2-BFI may therefore extend the therapeutic window up to 6 h after stroke onset in rats and may be a promising therapeutic strategy for humans. However, mechanisms to explain the effects oberved in the present study are not yet elucidated.
Project description:Poststroke hyperglycemia is associated with resistance to tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) reperfusion, higher risk of intracerebral hemorrhage, and worse neurological outcomes. In this study, we asked whether minocycline combined with intravenous tPA may ameliorate inflammation and brain injury after focal embolic stroke in type 1 diabetic rats.Type 1 diabetic rats were subjected to a focal embolic stroke. Three treatment groups were used: (1) saline at 1.5 hours after stroke; (2) tPA alone at 1.5 hours after stroke; (3) combined minocycline (intravenously) at 1 hour plus tPA at 1.5 hours, and second treatment of minocycline (intraperitoneally) at 12 hours after stroke. Acute brain tissue damages were assessed at 24 hours after stroke. Inflammatory biomarkers interleukin-1? and matrix metalloproteinases 2 and 9 were examined in plasma. Neutrophil infiltration, microglia activation, matrix metalloproteinase activation, and degradation of the tight junction protein claudin-5 were examined in the brain.Compared with saline or tPA alone treatments, minocycline plus tPA combination therapy significantly reduced brain infarction, intracerebral hemorrhage, and hemispheric swelling at 24 hours after stroke. The combination also significantly suppressed the elevated plasma levels of matrix metalloproteinase-9 and interleukin-1? up to 24 hours after stroke. At 16 hours after stroke, neutrophil infiltration, microglia activation, matrix metalloproteinase-9, and tight junction protein claudin-5 degradation in the peri-infarct brain tissues were also significantly attenuated by the combination therapy.Combination therapy with minocycline plus tPA may be beneficial in ameliorating inflammation and reducing infarction, brain swelling, and hemorrhage after ischemic stroke with diabetes mellitus/hyperglycemia.
Project description:Erythropoietin (EPO), a hematopoietic cytokine, exerts neuroprotective effects in experimental stroke. In the present study, we investigated the effect of recombinant human EPO (rhEPO) in combination with tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) on embolic stroke.Rats subjected to embolic middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) were treated with rhEPO (5000 U/kg) in combination with tPA (10 mg/kg) at 2 or 6 hours after MCAO. Control groups consisted of ischemic rats treated with rhEPO (5000 U/kg) alone, tPA (10 mg/kg) alone, or saline at 2 or 6 hours after MCAO.The combination therapy of rhEPO and tPA initiated 6 hours after MCAO did not reduce the ischemic lesion volume and significantly (P<0.05) increased the incidence of brain hemorrhage measured by frequency of gross hemorrhage and a quantitative spectrophotometric hemoglobin assay compared with rats treated with rhEPO alone and tPA alone. However, when the combination therapy was initiated 2 hours after MCAO, the treatment significantly (P<0.05) reduced the lesion volume and did not substantially increase the incidence of hemorrhagic transformation compared with saline-treated rats. Immunostaining analysis revealed that the combination therapy of rhEPO and tPA at 6 hours significantly (P<0.05) increased matrix metalloproteinase-9, NF-kappaB, and interleukin-1 receptor-associated kinase-1 immunoreactive cerebral vessels compared with rats treated with rhEPO alone and saline.EPO exacerbates tPA-induced brain hemorrhage without reduction of ischemic brain damage when administered 6 hours after stroke in a rat model of embolic MCAO and that matrix metalloproteinase-9, NF-kappaB, and interleukin-1 receptor-associated kinase-1 upregulated by the delayed combination therapy may contribute to augmentation of brain hemorrhage.
Project description:Although single-targeting anti-platelet agents are used extensively in clinics, their limitations in resistance and bleeding have started a trend of combination therapy. Danhong injection (DHI) is a widely prescribed injection medicine for cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases in China. However, its precise clinical efficacy and functional components remain unexplored. In this study, we investigated the anti-thrombotic role and its chemical basis of DHI. In a photochemically-induced thrombosis model, DHI effectively dissolved thrombus and ameliorated its derived dry gangrene. DHI inhibited multiple GPCR agonists-induced platelet adhesion, aggregation and downstream Ca2+ and cAMP signaling pathways. A functional screen of DHI library identified its major active components as a cluster of seven salvianolic acids. A combination of salvianolic acid A and C synergistically inhibited platelet aggregation in vitro while salvianolic acid B antagonized this effect. Our study revealed the anti-thrombotic activity of DHI. The multi-targeting mechanism of DHI proves the effectiveness of a natural anti-thrombotic combination therapy. The identification of salvianolic acids as a core anti-thrombotic activity of DHI and the discovery that their different combinations could either synergistically or antagonistically provide a better guidance for safer clinical application and paves the way for further development of DHI.
Project description:BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:Taurine (2-aminoethansulfolic amino acid) exerts neuroprotective actions in experimental stroke. Here, we investigated the effect of taurine in combination with delayed tPA (tissue-type plasminogen activator) on embolic stroke. METHODS:Rats subjected to embolic middle cerebral artery occlusion were treated with taurine (50 mg/kg) at 4 hours in combination with tPA (10 mg/kg) at 6 hours. Control groups consisted of ischemic rats treated with either taurine (50 mg/kg) or saline at 4 hours or tPA (10 mg/kg) alone at 2 or 6 hours after middle cerebral artery occlusion. RESULTS:We found that combination treatment with taurine and tPA robustly reduced infarct volume and neurological deficits 3 days after stroke, whereas treatment with taurine alone had a less-significant protective effect. tPA alone at 6 hours had no effects on infarct volume but instead induced intracerebral hemorrhage. The combination treatment with taurine prevented tPA-associated hemorrhage and reduced intravascular deposition of fibrin/fibrinogen and platelets in downstream microvessels and hence improved microvascular patency. These protective effects are associated with profound inhibition of CD147 (cluster of differentiation 147)-dependent MMP-9 (matrix metalloproteinase-9) pathway in ischemic brain endothelium by taurine. Notably, targeted inhibition of CD147 by intracerebroventricular injection of the rat CD147 siRNA profoundly inhibited ischemia-induced and tPA-enhanced MMP-9 activity in ischemic brain endothelium and blocked tPA-induced cerebral hemorrhage. Finally, the combination treatment with taurine and tPA improved long-term outcome at least 45 days after stroke compared with saline-treated group. CONCLUSIONS:Our results suggest that taurine in combination with tPA may be a clinically feasible approach toward future attempts at combination stroke therapy.