Attenuation of arsenic neurotoxicity by curcumin in rats


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Abstract

In view of continued exposure to arsenic and associated human health risk including neurotoxicity, neuroprotective efficacy of curcumin, a polyphenolic antioxidant, has been investigated in rats. A significant decrease in locomotor activity, grip strength (26%) and rota-rod performance (82%) was observed in rats treated with arsenic (sodium arsenite, 20 mg/kg body weight, p.o., 28 days) as compared to controls. The arsenic treated rats also exhibited a decrease in the binding of striatal dopamine receptors (32%) and tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) immunoreactivity (19%) in striatum. Increased arsenic levels in corpus striatum (6.5 fold), frontal cortex (6.3 fold) and hippocampus (7.0 fold) associated with enhanced oxidative stress in these brain regions, as evident by an increase in lipid perioxidation, protein carbonyl and a decrease in the levels of glutathione and activity of superoxide dismutase, catalase and glutathione peroxidase with differential effects were observed in arsenic treated rats compared to controls. Simultaneous treatment with arsenic (sodium arsenite, 20 mg/kg body weight, p.o., 28 days) and curcumin (100 mg/kg body weight, p.o., 28 days) caused an increase in locomotor activity and grip strength and improved the rota-rod performance in comparison to arsenic treated rats. Binding of striatal dopamine receptors and TH expression increased while arsenic levels and oxidative stress decreased in these brain regions in co-treated rats as compared to those treated with arsenic alone. No significant effect on any of these parameters was observed in rats treated with curcumin (100 mg/kg body weight, p.o., 28 days) alone compared to controls. A significant protection in behavioral, neurochemical and immunohistochemical parameters in rats simultaneously treated with arsenic and curcumin suggest the neuroprotective efficacy of curcumin.

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