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RESEARCH ARTICLE
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 350-356

Total flavonoids of hawthorn leaves promote motor function recovery via inhibition of apoptosis after spinal cord injury


1 School of Public Health Guangxi Medical University, Nanning, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, China
2 Research Center for Regenerative Medicine, Guangxi Key Laboratory of Regenerative Medicine, Guangxi Medical University, Nanning, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, China
3 Department of Spine Osteopathic Surgery, The First Affiliated Hospital of Guangxi Medical University, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, China
4 Department of Spine Osteopathic Surgery, The First Affiliated Hospital of Guangxi Medical University; Research Center for Regenerative Medicine, Guangxi Key Laboratory of Regenerative Medicine, Guangxi Medical University, Nanning, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, China

Correspondence Address:
Gao-Feng Zeng
School of Public Health Guangxi Medical University, Nanning, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region
China
Shao-Hui Zong
Department of Spine Osteopathic Surgery, The First Affiliated Hospital of Guangxi Medical University; Research Center for Regenerative Medicine, Guangxi Key Laboratory of Regenerative Medicine, Guangxi Medical University, Nanning, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region
China
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Source of Support: The study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, No. 81860391 (to GFZ); the Natural Science Foundation of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region of China, No. 2018GXNSFAA281144 (to GFZ); the Key Research and Development Project of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region of China, No. guikeAB18221021 (to SHZ), Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1673-5374.286975

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Flavonoids have been reported to have therapeutic potential for spinal cord injury. Hawthorn leaves have abundant content and species of total flavonoids, and studies of the effects of the total flavonoids of hawthorn leaves on spinal cord injury have not been published in or outside China. Therefore, Sprague-Dawley rats were used to establish a spinal cord injury model by Allen's method. Rats were intraperitoneally injected with 0.2 mL of different concentrations of total flavonoids of hawthorn leaves (5, 10, and 20 mg/kg) after spinal cord injury. Injections were administered once every 6 hours, three times a day, for 14 days. After treatment with various concentrations of total flavonoids of hawthorn leaves, the Basso, Beattie, and Bresnahan scores and histological staining indicated decreases in the lesion cavity and number of apoptotic cells of the injured spinal cord tissue; the morphological arrangement of the myelin sheath and nerve cells tended to be regular; and the Nissl bodies in neurons increased. The Basso, Beattie, and Bresnahan scores of treated spinal cord injury rats were increased. Western blot assays showed that the expression levels of pro-apoptotic Bax and cleaved caspase-3 were decreased, but the expression level of the anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 protein was increased. The improvement of the above physiological indicators showed a dose-dependent relationship with the concentration of total flavonoids of hawthorn leaves. The above findings confirm that total flavonoids of hawthorn leaves can reduce apoptosis and exert neuroprotective effects to promote the recovery of the motor function of rats with spinal cord injury. This study was approved by the Ethics Committee of the Guangxi Medical University of China (approval No. 201810042) in October 2018.


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