Antiepileptogenic effect of curcumin on kainate-induced model of temporal lobe epilepsy

Pharm Biol. 2013 Dec;51(12):1572-8. doi: 10.3109/13880209.2013.803128. Epub 2013 Sep 5.


Context: Temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) is an intractable neurological disorder. Curcumin is the bioactive component of turmeric with anti-epileptic and neuroprotective potential.

Objective: The beneficial effect of curcumin on the intrahippocampal kainate-induced model of TLE was investigated.

Materials and methods: Rats were divided into sham, curcumin-pretreated sham, kainate and curcumin-pretreated kainate groups. The rat model of TLE was induced by unilateral intrahippocampal injection of 4 μg of kainate. Rats received curcumin p.o. at a dose of 100 mg/kg/d starting 1 week before the surgery. Seizure activity (SE) and oxidative stress-related markers were measured. Furthermore, the Timm index for evaluation of mossy fiber sprouting (MFS) and number of Nissl-stained neurons were quantified.

Results: All rats in the kainate group had SE, while 28.5% of rats showed seizures in the curcumin-pretreated kainate group. Malondialdehyde and nitrite and nitrate levels significantly increased in the kainate group (p < 0.01 and p < 0.05, respectively), and curcumin significantly lowered these parameters (p < 0.05). Superoxide dismutase activity significantly decreased in the kainate group (p < 0.05) and curcumin did not improve it. Rats in the kainate group showed a significant reduction of neurons in Cornu Ammonis 1 (CA1) (p < 0.05), CA3 (p < 0.005) and hilar (p < 0.01) regions, and curcumin significantly prevented these changes (p < 0.05-0.005). The Timm index significantly increased in the kainate group (p < 0.005), and curcumin significantly lowered this index (p < 0.01).

Discussion and conclusion: Curcumin pretreatment can attenuate seizures, lower some oxidative stress markers, and prevent hippocampal neuronal loss and MFS in the kainate-induced model of TLE.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anticonvulsants / administration & dosage
  • Anticonvulsants / therapeutic use*
  • Behavior, Animal / drug effects
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Curcumin / administration & dosage
  • Curcumin / therapeutic use*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Epilepsy, Temporal Lobe / chemically induced
  • Epilepsy, Temporal Lobe / prevention & control*
  • Hippocampus / drug effects
  • Hippocampus / metabolism
  • Hippocampus / pathology
  • Kainic Acid / pharmacology*
  • Male
  • Neuroprotective Agents / administration & dosage
  • Neuroprotective Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Nitrites / metabolism
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar


  • Anticonvulsants
  • Biomarkers
  • Neuroprotective Agents
  • Nitrites
  • Curcumin
  • Kainic Acid