Neurochemical Research

, Volume 33, Issue 6, pp 1036–1043 | Cite as

Anti-ischemic Effect of Curcumin in Rat Brain

  • Pradeep K. Shukla
  • Vinay K. KhannaEmail author
  • Mohd. M. Ali
  • Mohd. Y. Khan
  • Rikhab C. Srimal
Original Paper


Turmeric has been in use since ancient times as a condiment and due to its medicinal properties. Curcumin, the yellow colouring principle in turmeric, is polyphenolic and major active constituent. Besides anti-inflammatory, thrombolytic and anticarcinogenic activities, curcumin also possesses strong antioxidant property. In view of the novel combination of properties, neuroprotective efficacy of curcumin was studied in rat middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) model. Rats were subjected to 2 h of focal ischemia followed by 72 h of reperfusion. They were pre-treated with curcumin (100 mg/kg, po) for 5 days prior to MCAO and for another 3 days after MCAO. The parameters studied were behavioural, biochemical and histological. Treatment with curcumin could significantly improve neurobehavioral performance compared to untreated ischemic rats as judged by its effect on rota-rod performance and grid walking. A significant inhibition in lipid peroxidation and an increase in superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity in corpus striatum and cerebral cortex was observed following treatment with curcumin in MCAO rats as compared to MCAO group. Intracellular calcium levels were decreased following treatment with curcumin in MCAO rats. Histologically, a reduction in the infarct area from 33% to 24% was observed in MCAO rats treated with curcumin. The study demonstrates the protective efficacy of curcumin in rat MCAO model.


Curcumin Middle cerebral artery occlusion Neuroprotection Oxidative stress 



The study was supported by a grant from the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi. The authors acknowledge the technical assistance of M/S. Kanhiya Lal and Buddhi Sagar Pandey.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pradeep K. Shukla
    • 1
    • 2
  • Vinay K. Khanna
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mohd. M. Ali
    • 1
  • Mohd. Y. Khan
    • 3
  • Rikhab C. Srimal
    • 1
  1. 1.Developmental ToxicologyIndustrial Toxicology Research CentreLucknowIndia
  2. 2.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Feinberg School of MedicineNorthwestern UniversityChicagoUSA
  3. 3.Dr. B.R. Ambedkar UniversityLucknowIndia

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