Curcuminoids, curcumin, and demethoxycurcumin reduce lead-induced memory deficits in male Wistar rats.
J Agric Food Chem. 2007 Feb 7;55(3):1039-44. PMID: 17263510
Faculty of Pharmacy, Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology, and Biotechnology, Rhodes University, Grahamstown 6140, South Africa.
This study investigated the neuroprotective effects of the curcuminoids against lead-induced neurotoxicity. The results show that lead significantly increases lipid peroxidation and reduces the viability of primary hippocampal neurons in culture. This lead-induced toxicity was significantly curtailed by the co-incubation of the neurons with the curcuminoids. In a whole animal experiment, rats were trained in a water maze and thereafter dosed with lead and/or curcumin (CURC), demethoxycurcumin (DMC), or bisdemethoxycurcumin (BDMC) for 5 days. Animals treated with curcumin and demethoxycurcumin but not bisdemethoxycurcumin had more glutathione and less oxidized proteins in the hippocampus than those treated with lead alone. These animals also had faster escape latencies when compared to the Pb-treated animals indicating that CURC- and DMC-treated animals retain the spatial reference memory. The findings of this study indicate that curcumin, a well-established dietary antioxidant, is capable of playing a major role against heavy metal-induced neurotoxicity and has neuroprotective properties.