Background: Metabolic disturbances, including hyperlipidaemia, are risk factors for brain ischemia. Despite all research, no definitive treatment has yet been found for brain ischemia. Thus, this study investigated the effect of cinnamon on ischemic tolerance and the expression of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) 2 and 9 genes, as well as levels of interleukin 6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α) proteins in rats receiving a high-fat diet (HFD).
Methods: Rats were divided into control, sham, model, lovastatin, vehicle, and cinnamon 130 mg (Cin130) and 260 mg (Cin260). All groups, except for the control group, received a high-fat diet for 6 weeks. Then, the last four groups received the corresponding treatment for 6 weeks. The stroke was induced by middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO). Twelve hours later, the animals were evaluated for the extent of neurological defects, lipid profiles, tissue damage, and gene expression of MMP-2,9, as well as IL-6 and TNF-α protein level.
Results: The results showed that Cin130 has been highly successful in improving neurological defects. Cin130 was effective in reducing serum cholesterol and triglyceride. Further, Cin260 effectively reduced serum LDL. Moreover, Cin130 and Cin260 could reduce tissue damage volume, blood-brain barrier (BBB) integrity, and down-regulation of IL-6, TNF-α proteins and MMP-2,9 levels.
Conclusion: Overall, cinnamon, in addition to its lipid-lowering effect, may also have a neuroprotective effect that may be related to the down-regulation of MMPs and cytokines. The two may be independent events or related to a third event; in any case, appropriate experiments should be performed in future studies to determine whether altering the MMPs reduces the effectiveness of cinnamon.