Curcumin alleviates eosinophilic meningitis through reduction of eosinophil count following albendazole treatment against Angiostrongylus cantonensis in mice

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Abstract

SUMMARY

Angiostrongylus cantonensis (A. cantonensis) is the most common cause of parasitic eosinophilic meningitis worldwide. By using an animal model of BALB/c mice infected with A. cantonensis, previous studies indicated that the anthelmintic drug, albendazole, could kill A. cantonensis larvae and prevent further infection. However, the dead larvae will induce severe immune responses targeting at brain tissues. To alleviate the detrimental effects caused by the dead larvae, we administered curcumin, a traditional anti-inflammatory agent, as a complementary treatment in addition to albendazole therapy, to determine whether curcumin could be beneficial for treatment. The results showed that although curcumin treatment alone did not reduce worm number, combined treatment by albendazole and curcumin helped to reduce eosinophil count in the cerebrospinal fluid, better than using albendazole alone. This alleviating effect did not affect albendazole treatment alone, since histological analysis showed similar worm eradication with or without addition of curcumin. Nevertheless, curcumin treatment alone and combined albendazole-curcumin treatment did not inhibit MMP-9 expression in the brain tissue. In conclusion, curcumin, when used as a complementary treatment to albendazole, could help to alleviate eosinophilic meningitis through suppression of eosinophil count in the cerebrospinal fluid.

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