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Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2011 Jul;99(1):66-74. doi: 10.1016/j.pbb.2011.04.002. Epub 2011 Apr 13.

Gastroprotective and antidepressant effects of a new zinc(II)-curcumin complex in rodent models of gastric ulcer and depression induced by stresses.

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Laboratory of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Marine Drugs, Department of Biochemistry, School of Life Sciences, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China.


Curcumin, a yellow pigment found in the rhizome of Curcuma loga, has been used to treat a variety of digestive and neuropsychiatric disorders since ancient times in China. Curcumin can chelate various metal ions to form metallocomplexes of curcumin which show greater effects than curcumin alone. This study investigated the antiulcerogenic and antidepressant effects of a Zn(II)-curcumin complex on cold-restraint stress (CRS)-induced gastric ulcers in rats, and on the forced swimming test (FST), tail suspension test (TST) and 5-hydroxy-l-tryptophan (5-HTP)-induced head twitch test in mice. CRS disrupted the rat mucosal barrier and induced gastric ulcers by decreasing the activities of the antioxidant enzymes, and increasing H(+)-K(+)-ATPase activity and malondialdehyde (MDA) level. Pretreatment with Zn(II)-curcumin (12, 24, and 48mg/kg) dose-dependently reversed these trends, reduced gastric lesions and H(+)-K(+)-ATPase activity, and increased antioxidant activities compared with control groups. Zn(II)-curcumin significantly increased HSP70 mRNA, and attenuated increased iNOS mRNA in the mucosa. Zn(II)-curcumin (17, 34, and 68mg/kg) also significantly decreased immobility time in the FST and TST, and enhanced 5-HTP-induced head twitches in mice. These results demonstrate that the Zn(II)-curcumin complex showed significant gastroprotective and antidepressant effects compared with curcumin alone via a synergistic effect between curcumin and zinc.

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