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Toxicology and applied pharmacology

Unraveling the mechanism of neuroprotection of curcumin in arsenic induced cholinergic dysfunctions in rats.


PMID 24952339

Abstract

Earlier, we found that arsenic induced cholinergic deficits in rat brain could be protected by curcumin. In continuation to this, the present study is focused to unravel the molecular mechanisms associated with the protective efficacy of curcumin in arsenic induced cholinergic deficits. Exposure to arsenic (20mg/kg body weight, p.o) for 28 days in rats resulted to decrease the expression of CHRM2 receptor gene associated with mitochondrial dysfunctions as evident by decrease in the mitochondrial membrane potential, activity of mitochondrial complexes and enhanced apoptosis both in the frontal cortex and hippocampus in comparison to controls. The ultrastructural images of arsenic exposed rats, assessed by transmission electron microscope, exhibited loss of myelin sheath and distorted cristae in the mitochondria both in the frontal cortex and hippocampus as compared to controls. Simultaneous treatment with arsenic (20mg/kg body weight, p.o) and curcumin (100mg/kg body weight, p.o) for 28 days in rats was found to protect arsenic induced changes in the mitochondrial membrane potential and activity of mitochondrial complexes both in frontal cortex and hippocampus. Alterations in the expression of pro- and anti-apoptotic proteins and ultrastructural damage in the frontal cortex and hippocampus following arsenic exposure were also protected in rats simultaneously treated with arsenic and curcumin. The data of the present study reveal that curcumin could protect arsenic induced cholinergic deficits by modulating the expression of pro- and anti-apoptotic proteins in the brain. More interestingly, arsenic induced functional and ultrastructural changes in the brain mitochondria were also protected by curcumin.