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Metabolic Brain Disease

, Volume 32, Issue 3, pp 789–798 | Cite as

Curcumin attenuates surgery-induced cognitive dysfunction in aged mice

  • Xiang WuEmail author
  • Huixin Chen
  • Chunhui Huang
  • Xinmei Gu
  • Jialing Wang
  • Dilin Xu
  • Xin Yu
  • Chu Shuai
  • Liping Chen
  • Shun Li
  • Yiguo Xu
  • Tao Gao
  • Mingrui Ye
  • Wei Su
  • Haixiong Liu
  • Jinrong Zhang
  • Chuang Wang
  • Junping Chen
  • Qinwen Wang
  • Wei CuiEmail author
Original Article

Abstract

Post-operative cognitive dysfunction (POCD) is associated with elderly patients undergoing surgery. However, pharmacological treatments for POCD are limited. In this study, we found that curcumin, an active compound derived from Curcuma longa, ameliorated the cognitive dysfunction following abdominal surgery in aged mice. Further, curcumin prevented surgery-induced anti-oxidant enzyme activity. Curcumin also increased brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)-positive area and expression of pAkt in the brain, suggesting that curcumin activated BDNF signaling in aged mice. Furthermore, curcumin neutralized cholinergic dysfunction involving choline acetyltransferase expression induced by surgery. These results strongly suggested that curcumin prevented cognitive impairments via multiple targets, possibly by increasing the activity of anti-oxidant enzymes, activation of BDNF signaling, and neutralization of cholinergic dysfunction, concurrently. Based on these novel findings, curcumin might be a potential agent in POCD prophylaxis and treatment.

Keywords

Curcumin Post-operative cognitive dysfunction BDNF ChAT Anti-oxidant enzyme 

Abbreviations

BDNF

brain-derived neurotrophic factor

CAT

catalase

ChAT

choline acetyltransferase

GPx

glutathione peroxidase

IHC

Immunohistochemical

MWM

Morris water maze

NIH

National Institutes of Health

NOR

Novel object recognition

Nrf2

Nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2

OD

optical density

POCD

post-operative cognitive

SOD

superoxide dismutase.

Notes

Acknowledgements

This work was supported by Ningbo Natural Science Foundation (2015A610219, 2013A610221), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (U1503223, 81673407), the Natural Science Foundation of Zhejiang Province (LY15H310007), the Applied Research Project on Nonprofit Technology of Zhejiang Province (2016C37110), Medicine and Drugs Research of Zhejiang Province (2014KYB232), the Ningbo International Science and Technology Cooperation Project (2014D10019), Ningbo municipal innovation team of life science and health (2015C110026), the Scientific Research Foundation for the Returned Overseas Chinese Scholars, the State Education Ministry, and the K. C. Wong Magna Fund in Ningbo University.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xiang Wu
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Huixin Chen
    • 2
  • Chunhui Huang
    • 4
  • Xinmei Gu
    • 2
  • Jialing Wang
    • 2
  • Dilin Xu
    • 2
  • Xin Yu
    • 2
  • Chu Shuai
    • 2
  • Liping Chen
    • 2
  • Shun Li
    • 5
  • Yiguo Xu
    • 1
  • Tao Gao
    • 1
  • Mingrui Ye
    • 6
  • Wei Su
    • 6
  • Haixiong Liu
    • 7
  • Jinrong Zhang
    • 4
  • Chuang Wang
    • 2
  • Junping Chen
    • 8
  • Qinwen Wang
    • 2
  • Wei Cui
    • 1
    • 9
    Email author
  1. 1.Anaesthesia Department of the Affiliated Hospital of Medical College, Ningbo UniversityNingboChina
  2. 2.Ningbo Key Laboratory of Behavioral Neuroscience, Zhejiang Provincial Key Laboratory of Pathophysiology, School of MedicineNingboChina
  3. 3.Ningbo Medical centre Lihuili Eastern HospitalNingboChina
  4. 4.School of Marine SciencesNingbo UniversityNingboChina
  5. 5.Pain Department of Zhejiang Provincial People’s HospitalHangzhouChina
  6. 6.Ningbo XiaoShi High SchoolNingboChina
  7. 7.Ningbo Institute of Medical SciencesNingboChina
  8. 8.Department of AnaesthesiologyNingbo No. 2 HospitalNingboChina
  9. 9.Department of Physiology, School of MedicineNingbo UniversityZhejiangChina

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