Curcumin-supplemented diets improve antioxidant enzymes and alter acetylcholinesterase genes expression level in Drosophila melanogaster model

Metab Brain Dis. 2018 Apr;33(2):369-375. doi: 10.1007/s11011-017-0100-7. Epub 2017 Aug 28.


Curcumin, a bioactive polyphenolic compound in turmeric (Curcuma longa) rhizomes has been shown to exert anti-aging properties with limited scientific basis. Hence, this study sought to examine the antioxidant and anti-cholinesterase activities of curcumin-supplemented diets as well as their molecular effect on superoxide dismutase (SOD) and acetylcholinesterase (AChE) genes expression level associated with lifespan extension in Drosophila melanogaster model. In this experiment, D. melanogaster (both genders) of 1 to 3 days old were fed diets either containing no curcumin (control) or supplemented with curcumin at 0.2 and 1.0 mg/g of diet for 7 days. Subsequently, the survival and locomotor activities were determined. In addition, we evaluated RT-PCR expressions of SOD and AChE mRNA genes. Furthermore, catalase, SOD and AChE activities were determined. Curcumin-supplemented diet improves survival ability but did not affect locomotor activity when compared with the control. In addition, there was a significant increase in SOD and catalase with a concomitant decrease of AChE activities when compared with the control. Furthermore, curcumin-supplemented diets suppress AChE mRNA expression but no alteration on SOD gene expression level was observed when compared with control. In conclusion, our present results suggest that a down-regulation of AChE gene expression with a concomitant decrease of AChE activity as well as improving antioxidant status could be some possible mechanism in which curcumin exert anti-aging potential and increases lifespan of D. melanogaster.

Keywords: Acetylcholinesterase; Aging; Curcumin; D. melanogaster; Superoxide dismutase.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetylcholinesterase / genetics*
  • Acetylcholinesterase / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / metabolism*
  • Cholinesterase Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Curcuma
  • Curcumin / pharmacology*
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Drosophila melanogaster / drug effects*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects*
  • Longevity / drug effects
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Superoxide Dismutase / drug effects
  • Superoxide Dismutase / metabolism


  • Antioxidants
  • Cholinesterase Inhibitors
  • Plant Extracts
  • turmeric extract
  • Superoxide Dismutase
  • Acetylcholinesterase
  • Curcumin