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Mech Ageing Dev. 2011 Oct;132(10):480-7. doi: 10.1016/j.mad.2011.07.008. Epub 2011 Aug 9.

Curcumin-mediated lifespan extension in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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Department of Bioenvironmental Systems Engineering, National Taiwan University, No. 1 Roosevelt Road, Sec. 4, Taipei 106, Taiwan.


Curcumin is the active ingredient in the herbal medicine and dietary spice, turmeric (Curcuma longa). It has a wide range of biological activities, including anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, chemopreventive, and chemotherapeutic activities. We examined the effects of curcumin on the lifespan and aging in Caenorhabditis elegans, and found that it responded to curcumin with an increased lifespan and reduced intracellular reactive oxygen species and lipofuscin during aging. We analyzed factors that might influence lifespan extension by curcumin. We showed that lifespan extension by curcumin in C. elegans is attributed to its antioxidative properties but not its antimicrobial properties. Moreover, we showed that lifespan extension had effects on body size and the pharyngeal pumping rate but not on reproduction. Finally, lifespan tests with selected stress- and lifespan-relevant mutant strains revealed that the lifespan-extending phenotype was absent from the osr-1, sek-1, mek-1, skn-1, unc-43, sir-2.1, and age-1 mutants, whereas curcumin treatment prolonged the lifespan of mev-1 and daf-16 mutants. Our study has unraveled a diversity of modes of action and signaling pathways to longevity and aging with curcumin exposure in vivo.

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