Several studies have indicated that neuroinflammation is indeed associated with neurodegenerative disease pathology. However, failures of recent clinical trials of anti-inflammatory agents in neurodegenerative disorders have emphasized the need to better understand the complexity of the neuroinflammatory process in order to unravel its link with neurodegeneration. Deregulation of Cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (Cdk5) activity by production of its hyperactivator p25 is involved in the formation of tau and amyloid pathology reminiscent of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Recent studies show an association between p25/Cdk5 hyperactivation and robust neuroinflammation. In addition, we recently reported the novel link between the p25/Cdk5 hyperactivation-induced inflammatory responses and neurodegenerative changes using a transgenic mouse that overexpresses p25 (p25Tg). In this study, we aimed to understand the effects of early intervention with a potent natural anti-inflammatory agent, curcumin, on p25-mediated neuroinflammation and the progression of neurodegeneration in p25Tg mice. The results from this study showed that curcumin effectively counteracted the p25-mediated glial activation and pro-inflammatory chemokines/cytokines production in p25Tg mice. Moreover, this curcumin-mediated suppression of neuroinflammation reduced the progression of p25-induced tau/amyloid pathology and in turn ameliorated the p25-induced cognitive impairments. It is widely acknowledged that to treat AD, one must target the early-stage of pathological changes to protect neurons from irreversible damage. In line with this, our results demonstrated that early intervention of inflammation could reduce the progression of AD-like pathological outcomes. Moreover, our data provide a rationale for the potential use of curcuminoids in the treatment of inflammation associated neurodegenerative diseases.
Keywords: Amyloid; Cdk5; curcumin; neurodegeneration; neuroinflammation; p25; tau.