Methods: The male Wistar rats (weighting 280-320 g) were randomly assigned into four groups as follows: sham, control ischemic, pretreated ischemic, and posttreated ischemic groups. Cerebral ischemia-reperfusion (IR) injury was performed by occlusion of middle cerebral artery (MCA) for 90 minutes followed by twenty-four hours reperfusion. Rats were administered fullerenol 5mg/kg, intraperitoneally, 30 minutes before induction of IR in pretreated ischemic group and immediately after termination of MCA occlusion in posttreated ischemic group. After twenty-four hours reperfusion, the method of Evans blue dye extravasation (EBE) and RT-PCR were used for determination of BBB permeability and mRNA expression levels of MMP-9 and IL-6, respectively. Neuronal deficit score (NDS) and edema of the ischemic hemispheres were also evaluated.
Results: MCA occlusion increased NDS in control ischemic rats (3.16 ± 0.16) with concomitant increase in EBE (15.30 ± 3.98µg/g) and edema (3.53 ± 0.50%). Fullerenol in both pretreated and posttreated ischemic groups reduced NDS (36% and 68%, respectively), EBE (89% and 91%, respectively) and edema (53% and 81%, respectively). Although MCA occlusion increased the mRNA expression levels of MMP-9 and IL-6 in ischemic hemispheres, fullerenol in both treatment groups noticeably decreased the mRNA expression levels of these genes.
Conclusion: In conclusion, fullerenol nanoparticles can protect BBB integrity and attenuate brain edema after cerebral ischemia-reperfusion injury possibly by reduction of IL-6 and MMP-9 transcription.