Abstract

Background: Traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI) is a major cause of long-term disability. However, therapeutic agents targeting SCI are sorely lacking. The aim of this study was to investigate whether curcumin has neuroprotective effects after SCI in rats. Materials and methods: Studies were performed in 39 male Sprague-Dawley rats after spinal cord hemisection. The animals were randomly divided into three groups: sham, vehicle, and curcumin. The Basso, Beattie, and Bresnahan (BBB) scale was used to evaluate functional outcome. Specimens were tested for histologic, terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated deoxyuridine triphosphate nick-end labeling (TUNEL), and immunohistochemical staining. Primary cultured astrocytes were used to test the inhibitory effect of curcumin on glial reactivation. Results: The BBB scores for the affected hindlimb after hemisection were significantly improved in the curcumin-treated group compared with the vehicle group (on d 3 and 7; P <0.001). Immunohistochemistry of NeuN revealed remarkable neuronal loss in the vehicle group after hemisection. In comparison, curcumin significantly protected neurons after SCI (curcumin compared with vehicle; P <0.001). Furthermore, curcumin significantly attenuated apoptosis after SCI (curcumin compared with vehicle; P <0.001). RT-PCR demonstrated that the expression of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) was significantly inhibited by curcumin. Conclusions: Curcumin inhibited apoptosis and neuron loss, quenched astrocyte activation, and significantly improved neurologic deficit 7 d after spinal cord hemisection. By down-regulating GFAP expression, curcumin seems to attenuate astrocyte reactivation, which may be beneficial for neuronal survival. This is the first report demonstrating the successful treatment of SCI by curcumin.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)280-289
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
Volume166
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2011

Fingerprint

Curcumin
Spinal Cord Injuries
Astrocytes
Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein
Neuroprotection
Spinal Cord
Apoptosis
Neurons
DNA Nucleotidylexotransferase
Neuroprotective Agents
Hindlimb
Neurologic Manifestations
Neuroglia
Sprague Dawley Rats
Immunohistochemistry

Keywords

  • apoptosis
  • astrocyte primary culture
  • astrocyte reactivation
  • BBB scale
  • curcumin
  • functional outcome
  • GFAP
  • hemisection
  • neuroprotection
  • spinal cord injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

Cite this

Curcumin provides neuroprotection after spinal cord injury. / Lin, Muh Shi; Lee, Yi Hsuan; Chiu, Wen Ta; Hung, Kuo Sheng.

In: Journal of Surgical Research, Vol. 166, No. 2, 04.2011, p. 280-289.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Lin, Muh Shi ; Lee, Yi Hsuan ; Chiu, Wen Ta ; Hung, Kuo Sheng. / Curcumin provides neuroprotection after spinal cord injury. In: Journal of Surgical Research. 2011 ; Vol. 166, No. 2. pp. 280-289.
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abstract = "Background: Traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI) is a major cause of long-term disability. However, therapeutic agents targeting SCI are sorely lacking. The aim of this study was to investigate whether curcumin has neuroprotective effects after SCI in rats. Materials and methods: Studies were performed in 39 male Sprague-Dawley rats after spinal cord hemisection. The animals were randomly divided into three groups: sham, vehicle, and curcumin. The Basso, Beattie, and Bresnahan (BBB) scale was used to evaluate functional outcome. Specimens were tested for histologic, terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated deoxyuridine triphosphate nick-end labeling (TUNEL), and immunohistochemical staining. Primary cultured astrocytes were used to test the inhibitory effect of curcumin on glial reactivation. Results: The BBB scores for the affected hindlimb after hemisection were significantly improved in the curcumin-treated group compared with the vehicle group (on d 3 and 7; P <0.001). Immunohistochemistry of NeuN revealed remarkable neuronal loss in the vehicle group after hemisection. In comparison, curcumin significantly protected neurons after SCI (curcumin compared with vehicle; P <0.001). Furthermore, curcumin significantly attenuated apoptosis after SCI (curcumin compared with vehicle; P <0.001). RT-PCR demonstrated that the expression of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) was significantly inhibited by curcumin. Conclusions: Curcumin inhibited apoptosis and neuron loss, quenched astrocyte activation, and significantly improved neurologic deficit 7 d after spinal cord hemisection. By down-regulating GFAP expression, curcumin seems to attenuate astrocyte reactivation, which may be beneficial for neuronal survival. This is the first report demonstrating the successful treatment of SCI by curcumin.",
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