Curcumin ameliorates insulin signalling pathway in brain of Alzheimer's disease transgenic mice.
Int J Immunopathol Pharmacol. 2016 Jul 27. Epub 2016 Jul 27. PMID: 27466310
Deficits in glucose, impaired insulin signalling and brain insulin resistance are common in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD); therefore, some scholars even called AD type 3 diabetes mellitus. Curcumin can reduce the amyloid pathology in AD. Moreover, it is a well-known fact that curcumin has anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. However, whether or not curcumin could regulate the insulin signal transduction pathway in AD remains unclear. In this study, we used APPswe/PS1dE9 double transgenic mice as the AD model to investigate the mechanisms and the effects of curcumin on AD. Immunohistochemical (IHC) staining and a western blot analysis were used to test the major proteins in the insulin signal transduction pathway. After the administration of curcumin for 6 months, the results showed that the expression of an insulin receptor (InR) and insulin receptor substrate (IRS)-1 decreased in the hippocampal CA1 area of the APPswe/PS1dE9 double transgenic mice, while the expression of phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase (PI3K), phosphorylated PI3K (p-PI3K), serine-threonine kinase (AKT) and phosphorylated AKT (p-AKT) increased. Among the curcumin groups, the medium-dose group was the most effective one. Thus, we believe that curcumin may be a potential therapeutic agent that can regulate the critical molecules in brain insulin signalling pathways. Furthermore, curcumin could be adopted as one of the AD treatments to improve a patient's learning and memory ability.