Klotho, an aging-suppressor gene, encodes a protein that potentially acts as a neuroprotective factor. Our previous studies showed that ligustilide minimizes the cognitive dysfunction and brain damage induced by cerebral ischemia; however, the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. This study aims to investigate whether klotho is involved in the protective effects of ligustilide against cerebral ischemic injury in mice.
Cerebral ischemia was induced by bilateral common carotid arterial occlusion. Neurobehavioral tests as well as Nissl and Fluoro-Jade B staining were used to evaluate the protective effects of ligustilide in cerebral ischemia, and Western blotting and ELISA approaches were used to investigate the underlying mechanisms.
Administration of ligustilide prevented the development of neurological deficits and reduced neuronal loss in the hippocampal CA1 region and the caudate putamen after cerebral ischemia.
The protective effects were associated with inhibition of the RIG-I/NF-κB p65 and Akt/FoxO1 pathways and with prevention of inflammation and oxidative stress in the brain. Further, downregulation of klotho could attenuate the neuroprotection of ligustilide against cerebral ischemic injury.
Ligustilide exerted neuroprotective effects in mice after cerebral ischemia by regulating anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant signaling pathways. Furthermore, klotho upregulation contributes to the neuroprotection of LIG against cerebral ischemic injury. These results indicated that ligustilide may be a promising therapeutic agent for the treatment of cerebral ischemia.