Aging is associated with progressive decline in mental abilities and functional capacities. Postmitotic tissues are most vulnerable to alteration due to oxidative damage leading to behavioral and biochemical changes. We hypothesized that the anatomical and functional facets of the brain could be protected with powerful antioxidants such as piperine and curcumin by examining their effects individually and in combination in delaying senescence induced by d-galactose. Young adult male Wistar rats were treated with piperine (12 mg/kg) alone, and curcumin (40 mg/kg) alone; and in combination for a period of 49 days by the oral route with treatment being initiated a week prior to d-galactose (60 mg/kg, i.p.). A control group, d-galactose alone and naturally aged control were also evaluated. Behavioral tests, hippocampal volume, CA1 neuron number, oxidative parameters, formation of lipofuscin like autofluorescent substances, neurochemical estimation, and histopathological changes in CA1 region of hippocampus were established. Our results suggest that the combination exerted a superior response compared to monotherapy as evidenced by improved spatial memory, reduced oxidative burden, reduced accumulation of lipofuscin; improvement in signaling, increase in hippocampal volume and protection of hippocampal neurons. We speculate that the powerful antioxidant nature of both, augmented response of curcumin in the presence of piperine and enhanced serotoninergic signaling was responsible for improved cognition and prevention in senescence.
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