Protective effects of Vitex agnus-castus in ovariectomy mice following permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion

Document Type : Short Communication


1 Student Research Committee, Rafsanjan University of Medical Sciences, Rafsanjan, Iran

2 Research Center for Tropical and Infectious Diseases, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran

3 Physiology-Pharmacology Research Center, Research Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, Rafsanjan University of Medical Sciences, Rafsanjan, Iran

4 Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, School of Medicine, Rafsanjan University of Medical Sciences, Rafsanjan, Iran


Objective(s): Previous studies have indicated that phytoestrogens induce estrogenic as well as anti-inflammatory effects, and they are found in high abundance in the extracts of some herbs such as Vitex Agnus Castus (VAC). Therefore, we investigated the effect of VAC extract on ovariectomized mice after the induction of permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion (PMCAO) model.
Materials and Methods: In this study, 50 mice ranging from 25 to 35 g were divided into five experimental groups as follows: Control, VAC, Estrogen, Tamoxifen, and Tamoxifen-VAC.  Animals were ovariectomized, and after 30 days of treatment, they were given PMCAO induction. Behavioral assessment (adhesive removal and wire hanging tests) was evaluated 24 hr, 48 hr, and one week after induction of stroke. The infarct volume, as well as serum levels of matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) and interleukin-10 (IL-10), were measured one week after stroke.
Results: One week after stroke, in both VAC and estrogen groups, the infarct size reduced in comparison with the control group. Estrogen and VAC extract improved adhesive removal and wire hanging test, increased the level of IL-10, and decreased the level of MMP-9 compared with the control group. In addition, co-administration of tamoxifen and VCA extract had no significant effect on measured indices compared with control and tamoxifen groups.
Conclusion: Based on our findings, VAC extract has neuroprotective properties and can reduce stroke injuries in PMCAO-induced ovariectomized mice via anti-inflammatory and estrogenic properties.


Main Subjects

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