Protective Effect of An-Gong-Niu-Huang Wan Pre-treatment Against Experimental Cerebral Ischemia Injury via Regulating GSK-3β/HO-1 Pathway

Shiqing Zhang, Xiaoli Jiang, Ying Wang, Kaili Lin, Zhang Zhang, Zhu Zhang, Peili Zhu, Man Ling Ng, Shaogang Qu, Cho Wing Sze*, Kin Lam Yung*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


An-Gong-Niu-Huang Wan (AGNHW), a famous formula in traditional Chinese medicine, has been clinically used for centuries for treating cerebral diseases, but the protective effects of pre-treatment with AGNHW on cerebral ischemia have not yet been reported. The present study aimed to test such protective effects and elucidate the underlying mechanisms on cerebral ischemia in rats by phenotypic approaches (i.e. including the neurological functional score, cerebral infarct area, neuron apoptosis, and brain oxidative stress status) and target-based approaches (i.e. involving the GSK-3β/HO-1 pathway). AGNHW was administered orally at the doses of 386.26, 772.52, and 1545.04 mg/kg respectively for 7 days to male Sprague-Dawley rats and then cerebral ischemia was induced by middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) for 1.5 h. Pre-treatment with AGNHW significantly ameliorated ischemic damage to the brain in a dose-dependent manner, including reduction of the neurological deficit score and infarct area. AGNHW pre-treatment increased the number of Nissl+ cells, NeuN+ and DCX+ cells, and decreased the number of Tunel+ cells. Moreover, AGNHW reversed the up-regulation of ROS and MDA induced by cerebral ischemia. AGNHW pre-treatment increased the expression of p-GSK-3β(Ser9)/GSK-3β (glycogen synthase kinase-3β) ratio and heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1). These results firstly revealed that short-term pre-treatment of AGNHW could significantly protect the rats from injury caused by cerebral ischemia-reperfusion, which support further clinical studies for disease prevention. The in vivo protective effect of AGNWH pre-treatment could be associated with its antioxidant properties by the activation of GSK-3β-mediated HO-1 pathway.

Original languageEnglish
Article number640297
Number of pages10
JournalFrontiers in Pharmacology
Publication statusPublished - 16 Apr 2021

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)

User-Defined Keywords

  • an-gong-niu-huang wan
  • antioxidant properties
  • cerebral ischemia
  • GSK-3β/HO-1 pathway
  • protective effect


Dive into the research topics of 'Protective Effect of An-Gong-Niu-Huang Wan Pre-treatment Against Experimental Cerebral Ischemia Injury via Regulating GSK-3β/HO-1 Pathway'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this