Liu, Huayan, et al. “Semen Ziziphi Spinosae attenuates blood–brain barrier dysfunction induced by lipopolysaccharide by targeting the FAK-DOCK180-Rac1-WAVE2-Arp3 signaling pathway.” npj Science of Food 6.1 (2022): 27. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41538-022-00142-6
Semen Ziziphi Spinosae (SZS) has been extensively used in the daily diet as a functional food for neuroprotective health-benefit in China for many years. However, the neuroprotective mechanism of SZS associated with blood–brain barrier (BBB) integrity remains unexplored. The present study suggests SZS could protect against lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced BBB dysfunction. Proteomics indicate that 135 proteins in rat brain are significantly altered by SZS. These differentially expressed proteins are mainly clustered into cell–cell adhesion and adherens junctions, which are closely related with BBB integrity. SZS reversed LPS-induces BBB breakdown by activating the FAK-DOCK180-Rac1-WAVE2-Arp3 pathway. Molecular docking between signaling pathway proteins and identified SZS components in rat plasma reveals that 6”‘-feruloylspinosin, spinosin, and swertisin strongly binds to signaling proteins at multiple amino acid sites. These novel findings suggest a health benefit of SZS in prevention of cerebral diseases and contributes to the further application of SZS as a functional food.