Dual effects of curcumin on neuronal oxidative stress in the presence of Cu(II).

Research paper by Han-Chang HC Huang, Chang-Jun CJ Lin, Wen-Juan WJ Liu, Rui-Rui RR Jiang, Zhao-Feng ZF Jiang

Indexed on: 20 Apr '11Published on: 20 Apr '11Published in: Food and Chemical Toxicology


Alzheimer's disease (AD) is one of the most common neurodegenerative disorders. Elevated copper (Cu) ions are thought to link AD pathology. Curcumin is suggested to treat AD because of its high anti-oxidative activity and coordination to transitional metal ions. In this study, the protective effect of curcumin against the Cu(II)-induced oxidative damage was investigated in primary rat cortical neurons. The neuronal damage was assessed by morphological observation, cell viability, and oxidative stress level. The results showed that curcumin at low dosage protected primary cultured neurons from the 20 μM Cu(II)-induced damage. Low dosage of curcumin depressed oxidative stress levels exacerbated by Cu(II). However, high dosage of curcumin failed to decrease the Cu(II)-induced oxidative stress. When Cu(II) was presented in primary neurons, curcumin at high dosage resulted in chromosomal aberration and cell damage. These results suggest that curcumin, in a concentration-dependent manner, plays both anti-oxidative and pro-oxidative roles in primary neurons treated with Cu(II).