Microglial HO-1 induction by curcumin provides antioxidant, antineuroinflammatory, and glioprotective effects.
Mol Nutr Food Res. 2015 Sep ;59(9):1690-700. Epub 2015 Jun 30. PMID: 26047311
SCOPE: We have studied if curcumin can protect glial cells under an oxidative stress and inflammatory environment, which is known to be deleterious in neurodegeneration.
METHODS AND RESULTS: Primary rat glial cultures exposed to the combination of an oxidative (rotenone/oligomycin A) and a proinflammatory LPS stimuli reduced by 50% glial viability. Under these experimental conditions, curcumin afforded significant glial protection and reduction of reactive oxygen species; these effects were blocked by the HO-1 inhibitor tin protoporphyrin-IX (SnPP). These findings correlate with the observation that curcumin induced the antioxidative protein HO-1. Most interesting was the observation that the glial protective effects related to HO-1 induction were microglial specific as shown in glial cultures from LysM(Cre) Hmox(∆/∆) mice where curcumin lost its protective effect. Under LPS conditions, curcumin reduced the microglial proinflammatory markers iNOS and tumor necrosis factor, but increased the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL4. Analysis of the microglial phenotype showed that curcumin favored a ramified morphology toward a microglial alternative activated state against LPS insult also by a HO-1-dependent mechanism.
CONCLUSION: The curry constituent curcumin protects glial cells and promotes a microglial anti-inflammatory phenotype by a mechanism that implicates HO-1 induction; these effects may have impact on brain protection under oxidative and inflammatory conditions.