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Neuroprotective effect of curcumin in middle cerebral artery occlusion induced focal cerebral ischemia in rats

Meenakshisundaram Thiyagarajan, Shyam S Sharma
Life Sciences 2004 January 9, 74 (8): 969-85
14672754
Free radical induced neuronal damage is implicated in cerebral ischemia reperfusion (IR) injury and antioxidants are reported to have neuroprotective activity. Several in vitro and in vivo studies have proved the antioxidant potential of curcumin and its metabolites. Hence, in the present study the neuroprotective potential of curcumin was investigated in middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) induced focal cerebral IR injury. 2 h of MCAO and 22 h of reperfusion resulted in the infarct volume of 210.39 +/- 31.25 mm3. Administration of curcumin 100 and 300 mg/kg, i.p. 30 min. after MCAO produced 37.23 +/- 5.10% and 46.39 +/- 10.23% (p < 0.05) reduction in infarct volume, respectively. Ischemia induced cerebral edema was reduced in a dose dependent manner. Curcumin at 300 mg/kg, i.p. produced 50.96 +/- 6.04% reduction in edema (p < 0.05) volume. Increase in lipid peroxidation after MCAO in ipsilateral and contralateral hemisphere of brain was observed, which was reduced by curcumin (300 mg/kg, i.p.)-treatment. Decrease in superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase activity was observed in ipsilateral hemisphere of MCAO animal. Curcumin-treatment (300 mg/kg, i.p.) prevented IR injury mediated fall in glutathione peroxide activity. Peroxynitrite measured using rhodamine123 fluorescence and anti-nitrotyrosine immunofluorescence indicated increased peroxynitrite formation after IR insult. Curcumin-treatment reduced peroxynitrite formation and hence the extent of tyrosine nitration in the cytosolic proteins. These results suggest the neuroprotective potential of curcumin in cerebral ischemia and is mediated through its antioxidant activity.

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