Protective effect of vinpocetine against brain damage caused by ischemia.


Rischke R, Krieglstein J




Jpn J Pharmacol


The effects of vinpocetine against hippocampal neuronal damage and on local cerebral blood flow (LCBF) were examined in a rat model of forebrain ischemia (10-min occlusion of the carotid arteries and hypotension). Histological evaluation of neuronal loss in the hippocampus was performed 7 days after ischemia. LCBF was measured before ischemia as well as after 2 min and 1 hr of recirculation. Vinpocetine (10 mg/kg) administered pre- or post-ischemically reduced the hippocampal neuronal necrosis, while pre-ischemic administration of 2 or 20 mg/kg vinpocetine was ineffective. Since vinpocetine increased the LCBF after 1 hr of recirculation, it cannot be excluded that blood flow improvements contribute to its neuroprotective activity. On the other hand, there is no clear evidence that an elevation of post-ischemic hypoperfusion could protect neurons against ischemic damage. It is, therefore, suggested that vinpocetine acts directly on brain cells.