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01.12.2017 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2017 Open Access

BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 1/2017

Buyang Huanwu decoction facilitates neurorehabilitation through an improvement of synaptic plasticity in cerebral ischemic rats

BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine > Ausgabe 1/2017
Ruihuan Pan, Jun Cai, Lechang Zhan, Youhua Guo, Run-Yue Huang, Xiong Li, Mingchao Zhou, Dandan Xu, Jie Zhan, Hongxia Chen
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​s12906-017-1680-9) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.



Loss of neural function is a critical but unsolved issue after cerebral ischemia insult. Neuronal plasticity and remodeling are crucial for recovery of neural functions after brain injury. Buyang Huanwu decoction, which is a classic formula in traditional Chinese medicine, can positively alter synaptic plasticity. This study assessed the effects of Buyang Huanwu decoction in combination with physical exercise on neuronal plasticity in cerebral ischemic rats.


Cerebral ischemic rats were administered Buyang Huanwu decoction and participated in physical exercise after the induction of a permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion. The neurobehavioral functions and infarct volumes were evaluated. The presynaptic (SYN), postsynaptic (GAP-43) and cytoskeletal (MAP-2) proteins in the coronal brain samples were evaluated by immunohistochemistry and western blot analyses. The ultrastructure of the neuronal synaptic junctions in the same region were analyzed using transmission electron microscopy.


Combination treatment of Buyang Huanwu decoction and physical exercise ameliorated the neurobehavioral deficits (p < 0.05), significantly enhanced the expression levels of SYN, GAP-43 and MAP-2 (p < 0.05), and maintained the synaptic ultrastructure.


Buyang Huanwu decoction facilitated neurorehabilitation following a cerebral ischemia insult through an improvement in synaptic plasticity.
Additional file 1: Chemical fingerprints of the BYHWD ingredients. UPLC-PAD/ESI-MS chromatogram of Buyang Huanwu decoction is shown in panel a: U-HPLC-PAD chromatography (upper) and ESI-MS (positive) total ion current (bottom). In other panels, UPLC-ESI-MS chromatogram of Buyang Huanwu decoction (uppers in panels b, c, d, e, f, g, h) and red peony root (bottom in panel b), Astragalus membranaceus (bottom in panel c), Chinese angelica root (bottom in panel d), Ligusticum wallichii (bottom in panel e), earthworm (bottom in panel f), safflower (bottom in panel g), peach seed (bottom in panel h) are displayed. (TIFF 8833 kb)
Additional file 2: Modified neurobehavioral assessment score. (PDF 15 kb)
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