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Apoptosis. 2006 Jun;11(6):943-53.

Curcumin protects PC12 cells against 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium ion-induced apoptosis by bcl-2-mitochondria-ROS-iNOS pathway.

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Department of Physiology, Zhongshan Medical College, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, 510080, P R China.


The aim of present study is to explore the cytoprotection of curcumin against 1-methyl-4-phenylpridinium ions (MPP(+))-induced apoptosis and the molecular mechanisms underlying in PC12 cells. Our findings indicated that MPP(+) significantly reduced the cell viability and induced apoptosis of PC12 cells. Curcumin protected PC12 cells against MPP(+)-induced cytotoxicity and apoptosis not only by inducing overexpression of Bcl-2, but also reducing the loss of mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP), an increase in intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) and overexpression of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS). The selective iNOS inhibitor AG partly blocked MPP(+)-induced apoptosis of PC12 cells. The results of present study suggested that the cytoprotective effects of curcumin might be mediated, at least in part, by the Bcl-2-mitochondria-ROS-iNOS pathway. Because of its non-toxic property, curcumin could be further developed to treat the neurodegenerative diseases which are associated with oxidative stress, such as Parkinson's disease (PD).

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