, Volume 69, Issue 6, pp 371–378 | Cite as

The synergistic effects of ω-3 fatty acids and nano-curcumin supplementation on tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α gene expression and serum level in migraine patients

  • Mina Abdolahi
  • Abbas Tafakhori
  • Mansoureh Togha
  • Ali Asghar Okhovat
  • Feridoun Siassi
  • Mohammad Reza Eshraghian
  • Mohsen Sedighiyan
  • Mona Djalali
  • Niyaz Mohammadzadeh Honarvar
  • Mahmoud DjalaliEmail author
Original Article


Migraine is a destabilizing neuroinflammatory disorder characterized by recurrent headache attacks. Evidences show tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α play a role in neuroimmunity pathogenesis of migraine. TNF-α increase prostanoid production, hyperexcitability of neurons, and nociceptor activation resulted in neuroinflammation and neurogenic pain. ω-3 fatty acids and curcumin exert neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory effects via several mechanisms including suppression of TNF-α gene expression and its serum levels. The aim of this study is an evaluation of synergistic effects of ω-3 fatty acids and nano-curcumin on TNF-α gene expression and serum levels in migraine patients. The present study performed as a clinical trial over a 2 month period included 74 episodic migraine patients in 4 groups and received ω-3 fatty acids, nano-curcumin, and combination of them or placebo. At the start and the end of the study, the gene expression of TNF-α and TNF-α serum levels was measured by real-time PCR and ELISA method, respectively. Our results showed that the combination of ω-3 fatty acids and nano-curcumin downregulated TNF-α messenger RNA (mRNA) significantly in a synergistic manner (P < 0.05). As relative to gene expression, a significant greater reduction in serum levels of TNF-α were observed in the combination group, but no significant differences in other groups. Supplementation with ω-3 fatty acids or nano-curcumin alone did not show significant reduction either in mRNA or serum levels of TNF-α. In addition, a much greater reduction in attack frequency was found in the combination group (P < 0.001). These findings indicated that ω-3 fatty acids and curcumin supplementation can be considered as a new promising approach in migraine management.


Migraine Curcumin ω-3 fatty acids TNF-α Gene expression 



This study was approved by ethics committee of the Tehran University Medical of Sciences (TUMS). Those who participated in this study are kindly acknowledged.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mina Abdolahi
    • 1
  • Abbas Tafakhori
    • 2
  • Mansoureh Togha
    • 3
  • Ali Asghar Okhovat
    • 3
  • Feridoun Siassi
    • 4
  • Mohammad Reza Eshraghian
    • 5
  • Mohsen Sedighiyan
    • 6
  • Mona Djalali
    • 7
  • Niyaz Mohammadzadeh Honarvar
    • 1
  • Mahmoud Djalali
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Cellular and Molecular Nutrition, School of Nutritional Sciences and DieteticsTehran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  2. 2.Iranian Centre of Neurological Research, Department of Neurology, Imam Khomeini HospitalTehran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  3. 3.Headache Department, Iranian Center of Neurological Research, Neuroscience InstituteTehran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  4. 4.Department of Community Nutrition, School of Nutritional Sciences and DieteticsTehran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  5. 5.Department of Biostatistic, School of Public HealthTehran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  6. 6.Department of Clinical Nutrition, School of Nutritional Sciences and DieteticsTehran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  7. 7.Department of Molecular Genetics, Faculty of Biological SciencesTarbiat Modares UniversityTehranIran

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