• caffeic acid;
  • focal cerebral ischemia;
  • neuron;
  • astrocyte;
  • 5-lipoxygenase;
  • leukotriene


Aim: To investigate the effects of caffeic acid on early and delayed injuries after focal cerebral ischemia in rats, and the possible relation to 5-lipoxygenase inhibition. Methods: Transient focal cerebral ischemia was induced by middle cerebral artery occlusion in Sprague-Dawley rats. Caffeic acid (10 and 50 mg/kg) was ip injected for 5 d after ischemia. The brain injuries were observed, and the levels of cysteinyl leukotrienes and leukotriene B4 in the brain tissue were measured. Results: Caffeic acid (50 mg/kg) ameliorated neurological dysfunction and neuron loss, and decreased infarct volume 24 h after ischemia; it attenuated brain atrophy, infarct volume, and particularly astrocyte proliferation 14 d after ischemia. In addition, it reduced the production of leukotrienes (5-lipoxygenase metabolites) in the ischemic hemispheres 3 h and 7 d after ischemia. Conclusion: Caffeic acid has protective effect on both early and delayed injuries after focal cerebral ischemia in rats; and this effect may partly relate to 5-lipoxygenase inhibition.