Efficacy of curcumin therapy against Angiostrongylus cantonensis-induced eosinophilic meningitis.J Helminthol. 2007 Mar; 81(1):1-5.JH
Angiostrongylus cantonensis can invade the central nervous system, leading to human eosinophilic meningitis or eosinophilic meningoencephalitis. Curcumin is a natural product which has the effects of anti-inflammation, anti-oxidation and anti-carcinogensis, while the administration of curcumin has been reported to possibly relieve the symptoms of meningitis. The present study tested the potential efficacy of curcumin in A. cantonensis-induced eosinophilic meningitis of BALB/c mice. Assay indicators for the therapeutic effect included the larvicidal effect, eosinophil counts and matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) activity in angiostrongyliasis. Eosinophils were mildly reduced in treatment groups compared with infected-untreated mice. However, there were no significant differences in larvicidal effects or MMP-9 activity. This study suggests that anti-inflammatory treatment with curcumin alone has low efficacy, but the treatment does not interfere with MMP-9 expression and is not useful for larvicidal effects. The possible reasons include low curcumin across the blood-brain barrier and also those larvae that survive stimulate MMP-9 production, which promotes blood-brain barrier damage, with leukocytes then crossing the blood-brain barrier to cause meningitis. Further studies will be required to test these possibilities.