Methylene Blue promotes cortical neurogenesis and ameliorates behavioral deficit after photothrombotic stroke in rats

Mohammad Ejaz Ahmed, Donovan Tucker, Yan Dong, Yujiao Lu, Ningjun Zhao, Ruimin Wang, Quanguang Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Ischemic stroke in rodents stimulates neurogenesis in the adult brain and the proliferation of newborn neurons that migrate into the penumbra zone. The present study investigated the effect of Methylene Blue (MB) on neurogenesis and functional recovery in a photothrombotic (PT) model of ischemic stroke in rats. PT stroke model was induced by photo-activation of Rose Bengal dye in cerebral blood flow by cold fiber light. Rats received intraperitoneal injection of either MB (0.5 mg/kg/day) from day 1 to day 5 after stroke or an equal volume of saline solution as a control. Cell proliferative marker 5-bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) was injected twice daily (50 mg/kg) from day 2 to day 8 and animals were sacrificed on day 12 after PT induction. We report that MB significantly enhanced cell proliferation and neurogenesis, as evidenced by the increased co-localizations of BrdU/NeuN, BrdU/DCX, BrdU/MAP2 and BrdU/Ki67 in the peri-infarct zone compared with vehicle controls. MB thus effectively limited infarct volume and improved neurological deficits compared to PT control animals. The effects of MB were accompanied with an attenuated level of reactive gliosis and release of pro-inflammatory cytokines, as well as elevated levels of cytochrome c oxidase activity and ATP production in peri-infarct regions. Our study provides important information that MB has the ability to promote neurogenesis and enhance the newborn-neurons’ survival in ischemic brain repair by inhibiting microenvironmental inflammation and increasing mitochondrial function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39-48
Number of pages10
StatePublished - Nov 12 2016


  • Methylene Blue
  • inflammation
  • mitochondria
  • neurogenesis
  • photothrombotic stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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