Tetrahydrocurcumin may be an effective therapeutic agent to treat traumatic brain injury. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Tetrahydrocurcumin reduces oxidative stress-induced apoptosis via the mitochondrial apoptotic pathway by modulating autophagy in rats after traumatic brain injury.
Am J Transl Res. 2017 ;9(3):887-899. Epub 2017 Mar 15. PMID: 28386319
Tetrahydrocurcumin (THC) has been identified as a multi-functional neuroprotective agent in numerous neurological disorders. Oxidative stress as a result of injury may induce neuronal apoptosis after traumatic brain injury (TBI). Treatment with THC may improve neurological function following TBI by attenuating oxidative stress and apoptosis and by enhancing autophagy. The purpose of this study was to investigate the mechanism of neuroprotection by THC against oxidative stress-induced neuronal apoptosis after TBI. We hypothesized that neuroprotection by THC may involve modulation of autophagy and the mitochondria apoptotic pathway. We used western blot analysis to evaluate the effect of THC on proteins involved in mitochondrial autophagy and apoptosis after TBI. The terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end-labeling (TUNEL) assay and immunofluorescence staining were used to confirm the role of THC in apoptosis and autophagy, respectively. THC-induced neuroprotection was assessed by neurological severity scoring (NSS) and by measuring the brain water content. We demonstrated that treatment with THC increased expression of autophagy-associated proteins LC3-II and Beclin-1 at 24 h post-TBI. Treatment with THC also reduced expression of malondialdehyde (MDA) and increased glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activity. Further, treatment with THC attenuated apoptosis by modulating mitochondrial apoptosis and reducing oxidative stress. Treatment with 3-methyladenine (3-MA) mitigated autophagy activation and reversed the inhibitory effect of THC on the translocation of Bax to the mitochondrial membrane. Moreover, treatment with THC improved neurological function and reduced the brain water content in rats after TBI. We concluded that the neuroprotective effects of THC are mediated by enhancing autophagy activation and by attenuation of oxidative stress and apoptosis after TBI, probably by modulating the mitochondrial apoptotic pathway. We suggest that THC may be an effective therapeutic agent to treat TBI.