Astragaloside IV promotes microglia/macrophages M2 polarization and enhances neurogenesis and angiogenesis through PPARγ pathway after cerebral ischemia/reperfusion injury in rats.
Int Immunopharmacol. 2021 Mar ;92:107335. Epub 2021 Jan 8. PMID: 33429332
Microglia/macrophages play a dual role in brain injury and repair following cerebral ischemia/reperfusion. Promoting microglia/macrophage polarization from pro-inflammatory M1 to anti-inflammatory M2 phenotype has been considered as a potential treatment for ischemic stroke. Astragaloside IV (AS-IV) is a primary active ingredient of Chinese herb Radix Astragali, which protects against acute cerebral ischemic/reperfusion injury through its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-apoptotic properties. However, it remains unknown whether AS-IV improves ischemic brain tissue repair and its underlying mechanism. A transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (tMCAO) rat model was used in this study. The results showed that AS-IV significantly improved long-term brain injury, reduced the expression of M1 microglia/macrophage markers and increased the expression of M2 microglia/macrophage markers 14 days after cerebral ischemia/reperfusion. AS-IV also increased peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ) mRNA and protein expression. Moreover, AS-IV promoted neurogenesis and angiogenesis, and increased the protein expression of brain-derived growth factor (BDNF), insulin-like growthfactor-1 (IGF-1) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). However, these beneficial effects were greatly blocked by PPARγ antagonist T0070907. These results together suggest that AS-IV could enhance neurogenesis, angiogenesis and neurological functional recovery, which may be partially through transforming microglia/macrophage from M1 to M2 phenotype in a PPARγ-dependent manner after cerebral ischemia/reperfusion injury. Therefore, AS-IV can be considered as a promising therapeutic agent for ischemic stroke.