• cerebrolysin;
  • apoptosis;
  • lymphocytes


Cerebrolysin is the only drug available for clinical use containing active fragments of some important neurotrophic factors obtained from purified porcine brain proteins, which has long been used for the treatment of dementia and stroke sequels. Cerebrolysin has growth factor-like activities and promotes neuronal survival and sprouting, however, its molecular mechanism still needs to be determined. It has been shown that Cerebrolysin may interact with proteolytic pathways linked to apoptosis. Administration of Cerebrolysin significantly reduces the number of apoptotic neurons after glutamate exposure. Furthermore, it has been reported that Cerebrolysin inhibits free radicals formation and lipid peroxidation. In vitro we evaluated the protective effects of Cerebrolysin towards spontaneous and induced apoptotic death in cells from healthy individuals. Peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBLs) from 10 individuals were used as cell model; 2-deoxy-D-ribose (dRib), a highly reducing sugar, was used as paradigm pro-apoptotic stimulus. Apoptosis was analysed using flow cytometry and fluorescence microscopy. Our results showed that Cerebrolysin significantly reduced the number of apoptotic PBLs after dRib treatment, although it had no significative effects on cells cultured in standard conditions. Our work showed a protective effect of Cerebrolysin on oxidative stress-induced apoptosis and suggested that PBLs can be used as an easy obtainable and handy cell model to verify Cerebrolysin effects in neurodegenerative pathologies.