Anti-ischemic effect of curcumin in rat brain.
Neurochem Res. 2008 Jun;33(6):1036-43. Epub 2008 Jan 18. PMID: 18204970
Turmeric has been in use since ancient times as a condiment and due to its medicinal properties. Curcumin, the yellow colouring principle in turmeric, is polyphenolic and major active constituent. Besides anti-inflammatory, thrombolytic and anticarcinogenic activities, curcumin also possesses strong antioxidant property. In view of the novel combination of properties, neuroprotective efficacy of curcumin was studied in rat middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) model. Rats were subjected to 2 h of focal ischemia followed by 72 h of reperfusion. They were pre-treated with curcumin (100 mg/kg, po) for 5 days prior to MCAO and for another 3 days after MCAO. The parameters studied were behavioural, biochemical and histological. Treatment with curcumin could significantly improve neurobehavioral performance compared to untreated ischemic rats as judged by its effect on rota-rod performance and grid walking. A significant inhibition in lipid peroxidation and an increase in superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity in corpus striatum and cerebral cortex was observed following treatment with curcumin in MCAO rats as compared to MCAO group. Intracellular calcium levels were decreased following treatment with curcumin in MCAO rats. Histologically, a reduction in the infarct area from 33% to 24% was observed in MCAO rats treated with curcumin. The study demonstrates the protective efficacy of curcumin in rat MCAO model.