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Artemisinin facilitates motor function recovery by enhancing motoneuronal survival and axonal remyelination.

PMID: 

ACS Chem Neurosci. 2021 09 1 ;12(17):3148-3156. Epub 2021 Aug 16. PMID: 34465091

Abstract Title: 

Artemisinin Facilitates Motor Function Recovery by Enhancing Motoneuronal Survival and Axonal Remyelination in Rats Following Brachial Plexus Root Avulsion.

Abstract: 

Artemisinin (ART), a well-known antimalarial medicine originally isolated from the plant, exerts neuroprotective effects in the nervous system owing to an antioxidant effect. Here, we determined whether ART is capable of inhibiting the oxidative stress to enhance motoneuronal (MN) survival to promote motor function recovery of rats following brachial plexus root avulsion (BPRA) with reimplantation surgery. Rats following BPRA and reimplantation were subcutaneously injected with 500μL of PBS or 16 mg/mL ART once daily for 7 days after surgery. Terzis grooming test (TGT), histochemical staining, real-time polymerase chain reaction, and Western blot were conducted to determine the recovery of motor function of the upper limb, the survival rate of MNs, the oxidative stress levels in the ventral horn of the spinal cord, the morphology of abnormal musculocutaneous nerve fibers, the remyelination of axons in musculocutaneous nerves, and the degree of bicep atrophy. ART significantly increased TGT score, improved the survival of MNs, inhibited the oxidative stress, amelioratedthe abnormal morphology of fibers in the musculocutaneous nerve, promoted the remyelination of axons, and alleviated muscle atrophy. Take together, ART can improve the survival of MNs and axonal remyelination to promote the motor function recovery via inhibiting oxidative stress, suggesting that ART may represent a new approach to the therapy of spinal root avulsion.

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