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Methods Find Exp Clin Pharmacol. 2007 Jan-Feb;29(1):19-25.

Possible neuroprotective mechanisms of curcumin in attenuating 3-nitropropionic acid-induced neurotoxicity.

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Pharmacology Division, University Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Panjab University, Chandigarh, India.


3-Nitropropionic acid (3-NP) is a well known fungic toxin causing neurotoxicity. Systemic administration of 3-NP causes motor and cognitive deficits that are associated with excessive free radical generation. Recently, curcumin has been implicated as a neuroprotectant in the treatment of various neurological disorders. The present study was designed to investigate the effects of curcumin in 3-NP-induced cognitive impairment and oxidative stress in rats. Curcumin, a potent antioxidant of dietary polyphenol, containing a standardized extract of Curcuma longa root (Zingiberaceae), has been reported to possess free radical scavenging, iron chelating and antiinflammatory activities. Intraperitoneal administration of 3-NP (20 mg/kg for 4 days) showed loss in body weight, declined motor function, poor retention of memory and changes in oxidative stress (lipid peroxidation, reduced glutathione and nitrite level) parameters in brain. Chronic treatment with curcumin (10, 20 and 50 mg/kg, p.o.) once daily for a period of 8 days beginning 4 days prior to 3-NP administration dose-dependently improved the 3-NP-induced motor and cognitive impairment. Biochemical analysis revealed that curcumin administration significantly attenuated 3-NP-induced oxidative stress (lipid peroxidation estimation, reduced glutathione and nitrite activity) in the brains of rats. It also significantly restored the decreased succinate dehydrogenase activity. The results of the present study clearly indicate that curcumin by its antioxidant activity showed neuroprotection against 3-NP-induced behavioral and biochemical alteration.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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