The aim of this study was to evaluate the neuroprotective effect of tanshinone IIA (TSA) on focal cerebral ischemia in rats and to investigate whether it was associated with Nogo-A/NgR1/RhoA/Rho-associated protein kinase 2 (ROCKII)/myosin light chain (MLC) signaling.
In this study, focal cerebral ischemia animal model was used. Neurological deficit scores and infarction volume were investigated to evaluate the neuroprotection of TSA. Hematoxylin-eosin staining, Nissl staining, and immunofluorescence staining were conducted to detect ischemic changes in brain tissue and changes in neurofilament protein 200 (NF200) and growth-associated protein-43 (GAP-43) expression, respectively. Western blotting and qRT-PCR analyses were used to detect the expression levels of NF200, GAP-43 and Nogo-A/NgR1/RhoA/ROCKII/MLC pathway-related signaling molecules.
TSA treatment can improve the survival rate of rats, reduce the neurological score and infarct volume, and reduce neuron damage. In addition, TSA also increased axon length and enhanced expression of NF200 and GAP-43. Importantly, TSA significantly attenuated the expression of Nogo-A, NgR1, RhoA, ROCKII, and p-MLC, and thus inhibiting the activation of this signaling pathway.