Protective effects of curcumin against ischaemia/reperfusion insult in rat forebrain

Pharmacol Res. 2002 Sep;46(3):273-9. doi: 10.1016/s1043-6618(02)00123-8.


Oxidative stress is believed to be implicated in the pathogenesis of postischaemic cerebral injury. Many antioxidants were shown to be neuroprotective in experimental models of cerebral ischaemia/reperfusion (I/R). The present study was designed to investigate the potential protective effects of curcumin (CUR) against I/R insult in rat forebrain. The model adopted was that of surgically-induced forebrain ischaemia, performed by means of bilateral common carotid artery occlusion (BCCAO) for 1 h, followed by reperfusion for another 1h. The effects of a single i.p. dose of CUR (50, 100 or 200 mg kg(-1)), administered 0.5 h after the onset of ischaemia, were investigated by assessing oxidative stress-related biochemical parameters in rat forebrain. CUR, at the highest dose level (200 mg kg(-1)), decreased the I/R-induced elevated xanthine oxidase (XO) activity, superoxide anion (O(2)*(-)) production, malondialdehyde (MDA) level and glutathione peroxidase (GPx), superoxide dismutase (SOD), and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) activities. On the other hand, CUR did not affect the declined reduced glutathione (GSH) content due to I/R insult. Worth mentioning is that the activity of catalase (CAT) did not change in response to either I/R insult or drug treatment. In conclusion, CUR was found to protect rat forebrain against I/R insult. These protective effects may be attributed to its antioxidant properties and/or its inhibitory effects on xanthine dehydrogenase/xanthine oxidase (XD/XO) conversion and resultant O(2)*(-) production.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / pharmacology
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / therapeutic use*
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use
  • Brain Ischemia / metabolism
  • Brain Ischemia / prevention & control*
  • Catalase / drug effects
  • Catalase / metabolism
  • Curcumin / pharmacology
  • Curcumin / therapeutic use*
  • Glutathione Peroxidase / drug effects
  • Glutathione Peroxidase / metabolism
  • L-Lactate Dehydrogenase / drug effects
  • L-Lactate Dehydrogenase / metabolism
  • Male
  • Malondialdehyde / metabolism
  • Neuroprotective Agents / pharmacology
  • Neuroprotective Agents / therapeutic use
  • Prosencephalon / drug effects*
  • Prosencephalon / metabolism
  • Prosencephalon / pathology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Reperfusion Injury / metabolism
  • Reperfusion Injury / prevention & control*
  • Superoxide Dismutase / drug effects
  • Superoxide Dismutase / metabolism
  • Superoxides / metabolism
  • Xanthine Oxidase / drug effects
  • Xanthine Oxidase / metabolism


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Antioxidants
  • Neuroprotective Agents
  • Superoxides
  • Malondialdehyde
  • L-Lactate Dehydrogenase
  • Catalase
  • Glutathione Peroxidase
  • Superoxide Dismutase
  • Xanthine Oxidase
  • Curcumin