Delayed (21 Days) Post Stroke Treatment With RPh201, a Botany-Derived Compound, Improves Neurological Functional Recovery in a Rat Model of Embolic Stroke

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Front Neurosci


Background: Despite the recent advances in the acute stroke care, treatment options for long-term disability are limited. RPh201 is a botany-derived bioactive compound that has been shown to exert beneficial effects in various experimental models of neural injury. The present study evaluated the effect of delayed RPh201 treatment on long term functional recovery after stroke.

Methods: Adult male Wistar rats subjected to embolic middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) were randomized into the following experimental groups (n = 20/group): (1) RPh201 treatment, and (2) Vehicle (cottonseed oil). RPh201 (20 μl) or Vehicle were subcutaneously administered twice a week for 16 consecutive weeks starting at 21 days after MCAO. An array of behavioral tests was performed up to120 days after MCAO.

Results: Ischemic rats treated with RPh201 exhibited significant (p < 0.05) improvement of neurological function measured by adhesive removal test, foot-fault test, and modified neurological severity score at 90 and 120 days after MCAO. Immunohistochemistry analysis showed that RPh201 treatment robustly increased neurofilament heavy chain positive axons and myelin basic protein densities in the peri-infarct area by 61% and 31%, respectively, when compared to the Vehicle treatment, which were further confirmed by Western blot analysis. The RPh201 treatment did not reduce infarct volume.

Conclusion: Our data demonstrated that RPh201 has a therapeutic effect on improvement of functional recovery in male ischemic rats even when the treatment was initiated 21 days post stroke. Enhanced axonal and myelination densities by RPh201 in ischemic brain may contribute to improved stroke recovery.

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