Cell Stress and Chaperones

, Volume 21, Issue 4, pp 697–705 | Cite as

Curcumin exerts anti-inflammatory and antioxidative properties in 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium ion (MPP+)-stimulated mesencephalic astrocytes by interference with TLR4 and downstream signaling pathway

  • Song Yu
  • Xu Wang
  • Xingliang He
  • Yue Wang
  • Sujie Gao
  • Lu Ren
  • Yan ShiEmail author
Original Paper


Neuroinflammation is closely associated with the pathophysiology of neurodegenerative diseases including Parkinson’s disease (PD). Recent evidence indicates that astrocytes also play pro-inflammatory roles in the central nervous system (CNS) by activation with toll-like receptor (TLR) ligands. Therefore, targeting anti-inflammation may provide a promising therapeutic strategy for PD. Curcumin, a polyphenolic compound isolated from Curcuma longa root, has been commonly used for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. However, the details of how curcumin exerts neuroprotection remain uncertain. Here, we investigated the protective effect of curcumin on 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium ion-(MPP+-) stimulated primary astrocytes. Our results showed that MPP+ stimulation resulted in significant production of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, interleukin (IL-6), and reactive oxygen species (ROS) in primary mesencephalic astrocytes. Curcumin pretreatment decreased the levels of these pro-inflammatory cytokines while increased IL-10 expression in MPP+-stimulated astrocytes. In addition, curcumin increased the levels of antioxidant glutathione (GSH) and reduced ROS production. Our results further showed that curcumin decreased the levels of TLR4 and its downstream effectors including NF-κB, IRF3, MyD88, and TIRF that are induced by MPP+ as well as inhibited the immunoreactivity of TLR4 and morphological activation in MPP+-stimulated astrocytes. Together, data suggest that curcumin might exert a beneficial effect on neuroinflammation in the pathophysiology of PD.


Curcumin Astrocytes 1-Methyl-4-phenylpyridinium ion Neuroinflammation Oxidative stress Toll-like receptor 4 



This study was supported by grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 81203004) and the Postdoctoral Science Foundation of China (No. 2013M540234).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

The authors report no conflicts of interest in this work.


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Copyright information

© Cell Stress Society International 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Song Yu
    • 1
  • Xu Wang
    • 1
  • Xingliang He
    • 2
  • Yue Wang
    • 1
  • Sujie Gao
    • 3
  • Lu Ren
    • 4
  • Yan Shi
    • 5
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Histology and EmbryologyLiaoning University of Traditional Chinese MedicineShenyangPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of Sports MedicineShenyang Sports UniversityShenyangPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Department of Cardiac FunctionThe Second Staff Hospital of Liaohe Oilfield CompanyPanjinPeople’s Republic of China
  4. 4.Department of Mental DiseasesLiaoning University of Traditional Chinese MedicineShenyangPeople’s Republic of China
  5. 5.Department of Internal Medicine of Traditional Chinese MedicineLiaoning University of Traditional Chinese MedicineShenyangPeople’s Republic of China

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