Ligustilide ameliorates hippocampal neuronal injury after cerebral ischemia reperfusion through activating PINK1/Parkin-dependent mitophagy

Zhiguo Mao, Liyu Tian, Jiao Liu, Qian Wu, Ning Wang, Guangyun Wang, Yang Wang, Saiwang Seto

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Mitophagy plays a critical role in cerebral ischemia/reperfusion by timely removal of dysfunctional mitochondria. In mammals, PINK1/Parkin is the most classic pathway mediating mitophagy. And the activation of PINK1/Parkin mediated mitophagy exerts neuroprotective effects during cerebral ischemia reperfusion injury (CIRI). Ligustilide (LIG) is a natural compound extracted from ligusticum chuanxiong hort and angelica sinensis (Oliv.) diels that exerts neuroprotective activity after cerebral ischemia reperfusion injury (CIRI). However, it still remains unclear whether LIG could attenuates cerebral ischemia reperfusion injury (CIRI) through regulating mitophagy mediated by PINK1/Parkin. Purpose: To explore the underlying mechanism of LIG on PINK1/Parkin mediated mitophagy in the hippocampus induced by ischemia reperfusion. Methods: This research used the middle cerebral artery occlusion and reperfusion (MCAO/R) animal model and oxygen-glucose deprivation and reperfusion (OGD/R) as in vitro model. Neurological behavior score, 2, 3, 5-triphenyl tetrazolium chloride (TTC) staining and Hematoxylin and Eosin (HE) Staining were used to detect the neuroprotection of LIG in MCAO/R rats. Also, the levels of ROS, mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) and activities of Na+-K+-ATPase were detected to reflect mitochondrial function. Moreover, transmission electron microscope (TEM) and fluorescence microscope were used to observe mitophagy and the western blot was performed to explore the changes in protein expression in PINK1/Parkin mediated mitophagy. Finally, exact mechanism between neuroprotection of LIG and mitophagy mediated by PINK1/Parkin was explored by cell transfection. Results: The results show that LIG improved mitochondrial functions by mitophagy enhancement in vivo and vitro to alleviate CIRI. Whereas, mitophagy enhanced by LIG under CIRI is abolished by PINK1 deficiency and midivi-1, a mitochondrial division inhibitor which has been reported to have the function of mitophagy, which could further aggravate the ischemia-induced brain damage, mitochondrial dysfunction and neuronal injury. Conclusion: LIG could ameliorate the neuronal injury against ischemia stroke by promoting mitophagy via PINK1/Parkin. Targeting PINK1/Parkin mediated mitophagy with LIG treatment might be a promising therapeutic strategy for ischemia stroke.

Original languageEnglish
Article number154111
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022


  • Cerebral ischemia reperfusion injury (CIRI)
  • Ligustilide
  • Mitophagy
  • PINK1/Parkin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Complementary and alternative medicine


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