PloS one

Telomerase: a target for therapeutic effects of curcumin and a curcumin derivative in Aβ1-42 insult in vitro.

PMID 24983737


This study was designed to investigate whether telomerase was involved in the neuroprotective effect of curcumin and Cur1. Alzheimer's disease is a consequence of an imbalance between the generation and clearance of amyloid-beta peptide in the brain. In this study, we used Aβ1-42 (10 µg/ml) to establish a damaged cell model, and curcumin and Cur1 were used in treatment groups. We measured cell survival and cell growth, intracellular oxidative stress and hTERT expression. After RNA interference, the effects of curcumin and Cur1 on cells were verified. Exposure to Aβ1-42 resulted in significant oxidative stress and cell toxicity, and the expression of hTERT was significantly decreased. Curcumin and Cur1 both protected SK-N-SH cells from Aβ1-42 and up-regulated the expression of hTERT. Furthermore, Cur1 demonstrated stronger protective effects than curcumin. However, when telomerase was inhibited by TERT siRNA, the neuroprotection by curcumin and Cur1 were ceased. Our study indicated that the neuroprotective effects of curcumin and Cur1 depend on telomerase, and thus telomerase may be a target for therapeutic effects of curcumin and Cur1.