Curcumin mitigates cerebral vasospasm and early brain injury following subarachnoid hemorrhage via inhibiting cerebral inflammation

Brain Behav. 2017 Aug 9;7(9):e00790. doi: 10.1002/brb3.790. eCollection 2017 Sep.


Background and purpose: Subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH)-induced cerebral vasospasm and early brain injury is a fatal clinical syndrome. Cerebral vasospasm and early brain injury are associated with inflammatory response and oxidative stress. Whether curcumin, which plays important roles to regulate inflammatory cytokines and inhibit oxidative stress, inhibits SAH-induced inflammation and oxidative stress are largely unknown.

Methods: Adult male rats underwent autologous blood injection into prechiasmatic cistern to induce SAH. Curcumin (150 mg/kg) was administered at 0.5, 24 and 48 hr post-SAH. Mortality calculation and neurological outcomes as well as morphological vasospasm of anterior cerebral artery were studied. Superoxide dismutase, lipid peroxidation, and inflammatory cytokines (MCP-1 and TNF-α) expression in prefrontal region were quantified. Furthermore, p65 and phosphor-p65 were quantitatively analyzed.

Results: Curcumin remarkedly reduced mortality and ameliorated neurological deficits after SAH induction (p < .05); morphological results showed that cerebral vasospasm in curcumin-treated group was mitigated (p < .05). SAH-induced MCP-1 and TNF-α overexpression were inhibited in curcumin-treated group (p < .05). Importantly, phosphor-p65 was significantly inhibited after curcumin treatment (p < .05).

Conclusions: Curcumin can inhibit SAH-induced inflammatory response via restricting NF-κB activation to alleviate cerebral vasospasm and early brain injury.

Keywords: NF‐κB; cerebral vasospasm; curcumin; early brain injury; inflammation; subarachnoid hemorrhage.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / pharmacology
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / therapeutic use*
  • Curcumin / pharmacology
  • Curcumin / therapeutic use*
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Inflammation / drug therapy*
  • Inflammation / etiology
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Male
  • NF-kappa B / metabolism
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects
  • Subarachnoid Hemorrhage / complications*
  • Subarachnoid Hemorrhage / metabolism
  • Vasospasm, Intracranial / drug therapy*
  • Vasospasm, Intracranial / etiology
  • Vasospasm, Intracranial / metabolism


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Cytokines
  • NF-kappa B
  • Curcumin