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Folia Neuropathologica
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vol. 61
Original paper

The neuroprotective effect of Dl-3-n-butylphthalide in epileptic rats via inhibiting endoplasmic reticulum stress

Shuang Tian
1, 2
Zhenzhen Qu
Huifang Cao
Xiaoli Niu
Qi Qiao
Bing Zhang
Lijing Jia
Weiping Wang

Department of Neurology, The Second Hospital of Hebei Medical University, Shijiazhuang, Hebei, P.R. China
Department of Neurology, Shijiazhuang People’s Hospital, Shijiazhuang, Hebei, P.R. China
Department of Rehabilitation, The Second Hospital of Hebei Medical University, Shijiazhuang, Hebei, P.R. China
Department of Neurology, Hebei General Hospital, Shijiazhuang, Hebei, P.R. China
Folia Neuropathol 2023; 61 (2): 185-195
Online publish date: 2023/01/31
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The purpose of this study is to investigate whether Dl-3-n-Butylphthalide (NBP) has a neuroprotective effect on pilocarpine-induced epileptic (EP) rats through endoplasmic reticulum stress (ERS)-mediated apoptosis.

Material and methods:
The Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into four groups: control (CON), EP, EP + NBP60 (NBP 60 mg/kg) and EP + NBP120 (NBP 120 mg/kg) groups. After the successful establishment of the temporal lobe EP model using the lithium-pilocarpine, the rats were given NBP for 28 consecutive days in EP + NBP60 and EP + NBP120 groups. Then, the spontaneous recurrent seizure (SRS) latency, SRS frequency and seizure duration were observed in each group. In order to observe the abnormal discharge of rats, the intracranial electrodes were implanted to monitor the electroencephalogram. Nissl staining was used to observe the damage to the hippocampal CA1 neurons, TUNEL staining was employed to observe hippocampal neuronal apoptosis. Western blot was used to detect the expression of ERS and ERS-mediated apoptotic proteins.

NBP60 and NBP120 decreased SRS frequency (all p < 0.05), shortened seizure duration (all p < 0.05), and reduced the abnormal discharge of the brain. Nissl staining and TUNEL staining results show that NBP protected the hippocampal neurons from damage (all p < 0.05) and inhibited hippocampal neuronal apoptosis in EP rats (all p < 0.05). NBP60 and NBP120 could reduce ERS and ERS-mediated apoptotic protein expression in EP rats (all p < 0.05). In addition, the therapeutic effect of NBP on epilepsy in rats is dose-dependent. The SRS frequency of the EP + NBP120 group was lower, and the seizure duration was shorter than in the EP + NBP60 group (all p < 0.05), and there were more neurons in the EP + NBP120 group than in the EP + NBP60 group (p < 0.05).

NBP had a significant neuroprotective effect in EP rats. Large doses of NBP are more effective than low doses. The mechanism may be associated with the inhibition of ERS and ERS-mediated apoptosis.


Dl-3-n-Butylphthalide, epilepsy, endoplasmic reticulum stress, apoptosis, neuroprotection

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