BACKGROUND: Apart from anticoagulation property and suppressing platelet congregation capability, tongxinluo preparation has been proved by traditional Chinese medicine to possess certain function for protecting endothelial cells.OBJECTIVE: To observe the influence of Chinese medicinal herb "tongxinluo" compound on adhesion molecule expression in brain ischemia-reperfusion (IR) animal model.DESIGN: Randomized and controlled experiment. SETTING: Department of Neurology, Changzheng Hospital Affiliated to the Second Military Medical University of Chinese PLA. MATERIALS: This experiment was conducted at the laboratory of the Department of Neurology, Shanghai Changzheng Hospital, between October 2002 and January 2003. Totally 25 male SD rats were randomized into sham-operation group of 5 rats, model group of 10 rats and tongxinluo group of 10 rats. METHODS: Middle cerebral artery was occluded using thread-bolt method to induce focal brain IR model in rats. In sham-operation group, nylon thread was placed around the external carotid artery approximating to the branch of internal carotid artery, and the other procedure was the same as that in model group. Rats in tongxinluo group were given tongxinluo powder 1.0 g/ (kg·d) dissolved in physiological saline through gastric infusion before IR for 1 consecutive week, which was replaced by physiological saline of the same dosage in model group and sham-operation group. Brain tissues were obtained under anesthesia condition and cut into slices conventional HE staining, immunohistochemical and in situ hybridization staining were conducted.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: ① The number of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) and vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1) positive microvessels following IR injury. ② The number of ICAM-1 and VCAM-1 mRNA positive microvessels following IR injury.RESULTS: ① In sham-operation group, ICAM-1, VCAM-1 protein and ICAM-1 mRNA positive microvessels could not be observed in hemispheric cortex and basal ganglion at the operative side. ② In model group, the positive expression of ICAM-1, VCAM-1 protein and ICAM-1 mRNA obviously increased at the ischemic side at 6-hour reperfusion following 2-hour ischemia. ③ In tongxinluo medication group, the positive protein and mRNA-expressing microvessls were found remarkably reduced in number in ischemic side hemispheric cortex and basal ganglion (10.42±1.98), (12.42±2.14)/HP (8.54±2.00), (11.12±1.56)/HP (P < 0.05), but the positive VCAM-1 protein-expressing microvessels did not change remarkably (P > 0.05). CONCLUSION: Tongxinluo can suppress ICAM-1 transcription and translation following rat brain IR, thus attenuating inflammatory injury induced by brain ischemia.