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Life Sci. 2009 Jul 3;85(1-2):1-10. doi: 10.1016/j.lfs.2009.03.013. Epub 2009 Apr 5.

Curcumin improves spatial memory impairment induced by human immunodeficiency virus type 1 glycoprotein 120 V3 loop peptide in rats.

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Department of Pathophysiology, Key Lab of State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Medical College of Jinan University, Guangdong, Guangzhou, China.



Human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1)-associated dementia (HAD) is a significant consequence of HIV infection. Although highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) has dramatically decreased HIV-1 load in acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) patients, HAART does not completely protect against the development of HAD, therefore novel strategies for the prevention and treatment are urgently needed. In this study, we chose curcumin which has a neuroprotective role and tested the effect against neuron damage induced by HIV-1gp120 V3 loop peptide.


Rats were given 150 ng gp120 V3 peptide by intracerebroventricular (ICV) infusion for 3 days to establish the cognitive dysfunction model. After recovery from the surgery, the rats in treatment groups were given curcumin by intragastric infusion for 2 weeks. Subsequently, we used the Morris water maze test, long-term potentiation (LTP) recording, biochemical measurement of oxidative damage, Nissl staining, and BDNF immunostaining to evaluate the neuropathological changes and the effect of curcumin on rats.


Our results documented that the gp120 V3 peptide induced impairment of spatial learning and memory, inhibited LTP in the CA1 region of the hippocampus, and mediated oxidative stress and neuronal injury. These impairments were ameliorated by intragastric infusion of curcumin.


These results suggested that dietary supplementation of curcumin may be a potential therapeutic strategy for the treatment and/or prevention of HAD.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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