Oxidative stress is one of the major mechanisms implicated in carbon ion irradiation. Curcumin is a natural phenolic compound with impressive antioxidant properties. What's more, curcumin is recently proved to exert its effects partly radioprotection. In vivo, we investigated the protective effects of curcumin against (12)C(6+)radiation-induced cerebral injury. Our results showed that 4Gy heavy ion radiation-induced spatial strategy and memory decline and reduction of brain superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity levels were all consistently improved by curcumin, and the augmentation of cerebral malonaldehyde (MDA) was lowered by curcumin. Furthermore, both the cerebral cells nuclear erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) protein and three typically recognized Nrf2 downstream genes, NAD(P)H quinine oxidoreductase 1 (NQO1), heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1), and γ-glutamyl cysteine synthetase (γ-GCS) were consistently up-regulated in curcumin-pretreated mice. Our study confirmed the antagonistic roles of curcumin to counteract radiation-induced cerebral injury in vivo and suggested that the potent Nrf2 activation capability might be valuable for the protective effects of curcumin against radiation. This provides a potential useful radioprotection dietary component for human populations.
Keywords: (12)C(6+) irradiation; Cerebral injuries; Curcumin; Mice; Nrf2 pathway; Oxidative stress.
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