Fisetin alleviates oxidative stress after traumatic brain injury via the Nrf2-ARE pathway

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Abstract

Fisetin, a natural flavonoid, has neuroprotection properties in many brain injury models. However, its role in traumatic brain injury (TBI) has not been fully explained. In the present study, we aimed to explore the neuroprotective effects of fisetin in a mouse model of TBI. We found that fisetin improved neurological function, reduced cerebral edema, attenuated brain lesion and ameliorated blood-brain barrier (BBB) disruption after TBI. Moreover, the up-regulation of malondialdehyde (MDA) and the activity of glutathione peroxidase (GPx) were reversed by fisetin treatment. Furthermore, administration of fisetin suppressed neuron cell death and apoptosis, increased the expression of B-cell lymphoma 2 (Bcl-2), while decreased the expression of Bcl-2-associated X protein (Bax) and caspase-3 after TBI. In addition, fisetin activated the nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2)-antioxidant response element (ARE) pathway following TBI. However, fisetin only failed to suppress oxidative stress in Nrf2−/− mice. In conclusion, our data provided the first evidence that fisetin played a critical role in neuroprotection after TBI partly through the activation of the Nrf2-ARE pathway.

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