Research Article

Effects of curcumin on hippocampal expression of NgR and axonal regeneration in Aβ-induced cognitive disorder rats

Published: March 24, 2014
Genet. Mol. Res. 13 (1) : 2039-2047 DOI: 10.4238/2014.March.24.8

Abstract

Curcumin has been widely used for the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer's disease (AD), but its mechanism is still not clear. Inhibitory factors of axonal regeneration have been shown to cause a series of pathophysiological changes in the early period of AD. In this study, the co-receptor (Nogo receptor; NgR) of three axonal growth-inhibitory proteins was examined, and effects of curcumin on spatial learning and memory abilities and hippocampal axonal growth were investigated in amyloid β-protein (Aβ)1-40-induced AD rats. Results showed that the expression of NgR in the AD group significantly increased and the number of axonal protein-positive fibers significantly reduced. The spatial learning and memory abilities of AD rats were significantly improved in the curcumin group. Furthermore, hippocampal expressions of NgR mRNA and protein decreased, and the expression of axonal protein significantly increased. There was a negative correlation between the expression of NgR and axonal growth. Together, these results suggested that curcumin could improve the spatial learning and memory abilities of AD rats. The mechanism might be related with its lowering of hippocampal NgR expression and promoting axonal regeneration.

Curcumin has been widely used for the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer's disease (AD), but its mechanism is still not clear. Inhibitory factors of axonal regeneration have been shown to cause a series of pathophysiological changes in the early period of AD. In this study, the co-receptor (Nogo receptor; NgR) of three axonal growth-inhibitory proteins was examined, and effects of curcumin on spatial learning and memory abilities and hippocampal axonal growth were investigated in amyloid β-protein (Aβ)1-40-induced AD rats. Results showed that the expression of NgR in the AD group significantly increased and the number of axonal protein-positive fibers significantly reduced. The spatial learning and memory abilities of AD rats were significantly improved in the curcumin group. Furthermore, hippocampal expressions of NgR mRNA and protein decreased, and the expression of axonal protein significantly increased. There was a negative correlation between the expression of NgR and axonal growth. Together, these results suggested that curcumin could improve the spatial learning and memory abilities of AD rats. The mechanism might be related with its lowering of hippocampal NgR expression and promoting axonal regeneration.