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Neuroscience. 2013 Aug 6;244:147-58. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2013.03.042. Epub 2013 Apr 9.

Protective effect of curcumin against chronic alcohol-induced cognitive deficits and neuroinflammation in the adult rat brain.

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Pharmacology Research Laboratory, University Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, UGC Center of Advanced Study, Panjab University, Chandigarh 160 014, India.


Chronic alcohol intake is known to induce the selective neuronal damage associated with increase oxidative-nitrosative stress and activation of inflammatory cascade finally resulting in cognitive deficits. In the present study, we investigated the protective effect of curcumin, a potent natural anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory molecule against chronic alcohol-induced cognitive dysfunction and nuclear factor kappa beta (NF-κβ) mediated inflammatory signaling in the brain of rats chronically administered ethanol. Male Wistar rats were given ethanol (10 g/kg; oral gavage) for 10 weeks, and treated with curcumin (15, 30 and 60 mg/kg) for the same duration. Ethanol-exposed rats showed impaired spatial navigation in the Morris water maze test and poor retention in the elevated plus maze task which was coupled with enhanced acetylcholinesterase activity, increased oxidative-nitrosative stress, cytokines (tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) and interleukin-1 beta (IL-1β)), NF-kβ and caspase-3 levels in different brain regions (cerebral cortex and hippocampus) of ethanol-treated rats. Co-administration with curcumin significantly and dose-dependently prevented all the behavioral, biochemical and molecular alterations in rats chronically administered ethanol. Thus, findings from the current study demonstrates the possible involvement of oxidative-nitrosative stress mediated cytokine release and inflammatory signaling in chronic alcohol-induced cognitive dysfunction and also suggests the effectiveness of curcumin in preventing cognitive deficits associated with chronic alcohol consumption.

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