Potential advantages of Chinese medicine Taohong Siwu Decoction (桃红四物汤) combined with tissue-plasminogen activator for alleviating middle cerebral artery occlusion-induced embolic stroke in rats

Ting Lin Yen, Eng Thiam Ong, Kuan Hung Lin, Chao Chien Chang, Thanasekaran Jayakumar, Song Chow Lin, Tsorng Han Fong, Joen Rong Sheu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objective: To investigate whether combination treatment with Taohong Siwu Decoction (桃红四物汤, TSD) and recombinant tissue-type plasminogen activator (rt-PA) potentiate in reducing infarct volume and alleviate thromboembolic stroke in an in vivo rat model.

Method: Adult male Wistar rats were subjected to embolic middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) and treated with rt-PA (4 and 8 mg/kg) alone (n=5), TSD [0.7 g/(kg·day)] alone (n=5), combination of rt-PA and TSD, 24 h after stroke. Rats were sacrificed at 14 days after treatment and lesion volumes were measured. To investigate the underlying mechanism of neuroprotective effect of the combination treatment, cleaved caspase-3, tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-1α, and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) immunostaining were performed.

Results: Combination treatment significantly reduced infarct volume of cerebral ischemic regions compared with treatment of rt-PA and TSD alone and that of the saline control group (P

Conclusions: A combination of low-dose rt-PA and TSD after embolic stroke reduced infarct volume, improved cerebral blood flow and provided neuroprotection and these effects were associated with reduction of apoptosis and attenuation of HIF-1α, TNF-α and iNOS expression. These results provide a positive contribution to better understand the therapeutic value of the combination of TSD with rt-PA in ischemic stroke and may support further clinical evaluation.

Original languageEnglish
JournalChinese Journal of Integrative Medicine
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Sep 24 2014



  • caspase-3
  • Chinese medicine
  • hypoxia-induced factor-1α
  • inducible nitric oxide synthase
  • rats
  • recombinant tissuse-type plasminogen activator
  • Taohong Siwu Decoction
  • thromboembolic stroke
  • tumor necrosis factor α

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and alternative medicine
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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