Curcumin promotes nerve regeneration and functional recovery in rat model of nerve crush injury

Neurosci Lett. 2013 Jun 28;547:26-31. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2013.04.054. Epub 2013 May 10.


Background and aim: Curcumin at 100mg/kg has been shown to have a protective effect on crush nerve injury. However, it is unclear whether the protective effect of curcumin on nerve injury is dose dependent. The present study was designed to investigate such a possibility.

Methods: The rats subjected to crush nerve injury were intraperitoneally administrated daily for 4 weeks with curcumin (50 mg/kg, 100 mg/kg and 300 mg/kg), or 100 μg/kg mecobalamin or normal saline, respectively. The axonal regeneration was investigated by retrograde labeling and morphometric analysis. The motor functional recovery was evaluated by electrophysiological studies, behavioral tests and histological appearance of the target muscles.

Results: Our data showed that curcumin and mecobalamin achieved better nerve regeneration and functional recovery than vehicle group. In addition, high doses of curcumin (100 mg/kg and 300 mg/kg) showed better performance in promoting nerve regeneration and functional recovery than low dose of curcumin (50 mg/kg).

Conclusions: Curcumin is capable of promoting nerve regeneration after nerve injuries, highlighting the therapeutic values of curcumin as a neuroprotective drug for peripheral nerve repair applications.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Curcumin / administration & dosage*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Male
  • Nerve Crush
  • Nerve Regeneration / drug effects*
  • Neuroprotective Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Recovery of Function / drug effects*
  • Sciatic Nerve / injuries


  • Neuroprotective Agents
  • Curcumin