Background: Glucose/serum deprivation (GSD), has been used for understanding molecular mechanisms of neuronal damage during ischemia. It has been suggested that curcumin may improve neurodegenerative diseases.
Aim: In this study, the protective effects of curcumin and its underlying mechanisms were investigated in PC12 cells upon GSD-induced stress.
PC12 cells were cultured in DMEM overnight and then incubated in GSD condition for
either 6 or 12h. GSD-treated cells were pretreated with various concentrations of curcumin (10, 20,
and 40 μM) for 5h. The cell viability, apoptosis, reactive oxygen species (ROS) level, oxidative
stress, expression of apoptosis-related genes, and IL-6 were determined.
Results: Curcumin increased cell viability and caused an anti-apoptotic effect in PC12 cells exposed for 12h to GSD . Curcumin also increased antioxidant enzyme expression, suppressed lipid peroxidation, and decreased interleukin-6 secretion in PC12 cells subjected to GSD. In addition, pretreatment with curcumin down-regulated pro-apoptotic (Bax), and up-regulated antiapoptotic (Bcl2) mediators.
Conclusion: Curcumin mitigates many of the adverse effects of ischemia, and therefore, should be considered as an adjunct therapy in ischemic patients.