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Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2009 Mar;92(1):39-43. doi: 10.1016/j.pbb.2008.10.007. Epub 2008 Oct 25.

Anti-depressant like effect of curcumin and its combination with piperine in unpredictable chronic stress-induced behavioral, biochemical and neurochemical changes.

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University Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Panjab University, Chandigarh, 160014 India.


Curcumin, a yellow pigment extracted from rhizomes of the plant Curcuma longa (turmeric), has been widely used as food additive and also as a herbal medicine throughout Asia. The present study was designed to study the pharmacological, biochemical and neurochemical effects of daily administration of curcumin to rats subjected to chronic unpredictable stress. Curcumin treatment (20 and 40 mg/kg, i.p., 21 days) significantly reversed the chronic unpredictable stress-induced behavioral (increase immobility period), biochemical (increase monoamine oxidase activity) and neurochemical (depletion of brain monoamine levels) alterations. The combination of piperine (2.5 mg/kg, i.p., 21 days), a bioavailability enhancer, with curcumin (20 and 40 mg/kg, i.p., 21 days) showed significant potentiation of its anti-immobility, neurotransmitter enhancing (serotonin and dopamine) and monoamine oxidase inhibitory (MAO-A) effects as compared to curcumin effect per se. This study provided a scientific rationale for the use of curcumin and its co-administration with piperine in the treatment of depressive disorders.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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