Indian Ginseng (Withania somnifera) supplementation ameliorates oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunctions in experimental model of stroke.
Metab Brain Dis. 2018 Aug ;33(4):1261-1274. Epub 2018 Apr 18. PMID: 29671210
Stroke is an increasingly prevalent clinical condition and second leading cause of death globally. The present study evaluated the therapeutic potential of Indian Ginseng, also known as Withania somnifera (WS), supplementation on middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) induced mitochondrial dysfunctions in experimental model of ischemic stroke. Stroke was induced in animals by occluding the middle cerebral artery, followed by reperfusion injury. Ischemia reperfusion injury resulted in increased oxidative stress indicated by increased reactive oxygen species and protein carbonyl levels; compromised antioxidant system; in terms of reduced superoxide dismutase and catalase activity, along with reduction in GSH levels and the redox ratio, impaired mitochondrial functions and enhanced expression of apoptosis markers. Ischemia reperfusion injury induced mitochondrial dysfunctions in terms of (i) reduced activity of the mitochondrial respiratory chain enzymes, (ii) reduced histochemical staining of complex-II and IV, (iii) reduced in-gel activity of mitochondrial complex-I to V, (iv) mitochondrial structural changes in terms of increased mitochondrial swelling, reduced mitochondrial membrane potential and ultrastructural changes. Additionally, an increase in the activity of caspase-3 and caspase-9 was also observed, along with altered expression of apoptotic proteins Bcl-2 and Bax in MCAO animals. MCAO animals also showed significant impairment in cognitive functions assessed using Y maze test. WS pre-supplementation, on the other hand ameliorated MCAO induced oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunctions, apoptosis and cognitive impairments. The results show protective effect of WS pre-supplementation in ischemic stroke and are suggestive of its potential application in stroke management.