As the elderly population is increasing, Alzheimer's disease (AD) has become a global issue and many clinical trials have been conducted to evaluate treatments for AD. As these clinical trials have been conducted and have failed, the development of new theraphies for AD with fewer adverse effects remains a challenge. In this study, we examined the effects of Theracurmin on cognitive decline using 5XFAD mice, an AD mouse model. Theracurmin is more bioavailable form of curcumin, generated with submicron colloidal dispersion. Mice were treated with Theracurmin (100, 300 and 1,000 mg/kg) for 12 weeks and were subjected to the novel object recognition test and the Barnes maze test. Theracurmin-treated mice showed significant amelioration in recognition and spatial memories compared those of the vehicle-treated controls. In addition, the antioxidant activities of Theracurmin were investigated by measuring the superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity, malondialdehyde (MDA) and glutathione (GSH) levels. The increased MDA level and decreased SOD and GSH levels in the vehicle-treated 5XFAD mice were significantly reversed by the administration of Theracurmin. Moreover, we observed that Theracurmin administration elevated the expression levels of synaptic components, including synaptophysin and post synaptic density protein 95, and decreased the expression levels of ionized calcium-binding adapter molecule 1 (Iba-1), a marker of activated microglia. These results suggest that Theracurmin ameliorates cognitive function by increasing the expression of synaptic components and by preventing neuronal cell damage from oxidative stress or from the activation of microglia. Thus, Theracurmin would be useful for treating the cognitive dysfunctions observed in AD.
Keywords: Alzheimer's disease; Antioxidative activity; Recognition memory; Spatial memory; Synaptic component; Theracurmin.