Neuroprotective effect of curcumin as evinced by abrogation of rotenone-induced motor deficits, oxidative and mitochondrial dysfunctions in mouse model of Parkinson's disease

Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2016 Nov-Dec:150-151:39-47. doi: 10.1016/j.pbb.2016.09.002. Epub 2016 Sep 9.


Curcumin, a natural polyphenolic compound extracted from rhizomes of Curcuma longa (turmeric), a plant in the ginger family (Zingiberaceae) has been used worldwide and extensively in Southeast Asia. Curcumin exhibited numerous biological and pharmacological activities including potent antioxidant, cardiovascular disease, anticancer, anti-inflammatory effects and neurodegenerative disorders in cell cultures and animal models. Hence, the present study was designed in order to explore the possible neuroprotective role of curcumin against rotenone induced cognitive impairment, oxidative and mitochondrial dysfunction in mice. Chronic administration of rotenone (1mg/kg i.p.) for a period of three weeks significantly impaired cognitive function (actophotometer, rotarod and open field test), oxidative defense (increased lipid peroxidation, nitrite concentration and decreased activity of superoxide dismutase, catalase and reduced glutathione level) and mitochondrial complex (II and III) enzymes activities as compared to normal control group. Three weeks of curcumin (50, 100 and 200mg/kg, p.o.) treatment significantly improved behavioral alterations, oxidative damage and mitochondrial enzyme complex activities as compared to negative control (rotenone treated) group. Curcumin treated mice also mitigated enhanced acetylcholine esterase enzyme level as compared to negative control group. We found that curcumin restored motor deficits and enhanced the activities of antioxidant enzymes suggesting its antioxidant potential in vivo. The findings of the present study conclude neuroprotective role of curcumin against rotenone induced Parkinson's in mice and offer strong justification for the therapeutic prospective of this compound in the management of PD.

Keywords: Curcumin; Mitochondrial dysfunction; Neuroprotective; Oxidative stress; Parkinson's disease; Rotenone.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetylcholinesterase / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Curcumin / pharmacology*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Glutathione / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mitochondria / drug effects*
  • Mitochondria / physiology
  • Motor Activity / drug effects*
  • Neuroprotective Agents / pharmacology*
  • Parkinsonian Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Parkinsonian Disorders / metabolism
  • Rotenone / toxicity*


  • Neuroprotective Agents
  • Rotenone
  • Acetylcholinesterase
  • Glutathione
  • Curcumin