Protective effect of curcumin against intracerebral streptozotocin induced impairment in memory and cerebral blood flow

Himani Awasthi, Santoshkumar Tota, Kashif Hanif, Chandiswar Nath, Rakesh Shukla
Life Sciences 2010 January 16, 86 (3): 87-94

AIMS: The aim of the present study is to investigate the effect of curcumin on cerebral blood flow (CBF), memory impairment, oxidative stress and cholinergic dysfunction in intracerebral (IC) streptozotocin (STZ) induced memory impairment in mice.

MAIN METHODS: Memory impairment was induced by STZ (0.5mg/kg, IC) administered twice with an interval of 48h in mice. Memory function was assessed by Morris water maze and passive avoidance test. CBF was measured by Laser Doppler Flowmetry (LDF). To study the preventive effect, curcumin (10, 20 and 50mg/kg, PO) was administered for 21days starting from the first dose of STZ. In another set of experiment, curcumin was administered for 7days from 19th day after confirming STZ induced dementia to observe its therapeutic effect. Biochemical parameters of oxidative stress and cholinergic function were estimated in brain on day 21.

KEY FINDINGS: The major finding of this study is that STZ (IC) caused a significant reduction in CBF along with memory impairment, cholinergic dysfunction and enhanced oxidative stress. Curcumin dose dependently improved CBF in STZ treated mice together with amelioration of memory impairment both in preventive and therapeutic manner.

SIGNIFICANCE: The present study clearly demonstrates the beneficial effects of curcumin, the dietary staple of India, on CBF, memory and oxidative stress which can be exploited for dementia associated with age related vascular and neurodegenerative disorders.

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