Context: Curcumin exhibits a wide spectrum of biological activities which include neuroprotective, antinociceptive, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant activity.
Objective: The present study evaluates the effect of curcumin in vincristine-induced neuropathy in a mice model.
Materials and methods: Vincristine sulfate (0.1 mg/kg, i.p. for 10 consecutive days) was administered to mice to induce neuropathy. Pain behavior was assessed at different days, i.e., 0, 7, 10, and 14 d. Sciatic nerve total calcium, superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), reduced glutathione (GSH), nitric oxide (NO), and lipid peroxidation (LPO) were also estimated after the 14th day of study. Pregabalin (10 mg/kg, p.o.) and curcumin (15, 30, and 60 mg/kg, p.o.) were administered for 14 consecutive days.
Results: Curcumin at 60 mg/kg significantly attenuated the vincristine-induced neuropathic pain manifestations in terms of thermal hyperalgesia (p < 0.001) and allodynia (p < 0.001); mechanical hyperalgesia (p < 0.001); functional loss (p < 0.001); and in the delayed phase of formalin test (p < 0.001). Curcumin at 30 and 60 mg/kg exhibited significant changes (p < 0.001) in antioxidant levels and in total calcium levels in vincristine-injected mice.
Conclusion: Curcumin at 30 and 60 mg/kg dose levels significantly attenuated vincristine-induced neuropathy which may be due to its multiple actions including antinociceptive, calcium inhibitory, and antioxidant effect.
Keywords: Antinociceptive; allodynia; chemotherapy; formalin test; hyperalgesia; neuroprotective; pain; sciatic functional index.