Curcumin prevents the midbrain dopaminergic innervations and locomotor performance deficiencies resulting from chronic aluminum exposure in rat.J Chem Neuroanat. 2019 10; 100:101654.JC
Aluminum (Al) among the abundant metals on the earth crust, is able to cross the biological barriers via the gastrointestinal and lung tissues. Once in the body, this heavy metal accumulates in different organs, especially the central nervous system. Though its influence is evidently shown in the substantia nigra of Parkinson's disease patients and other brain areas in other neurodegenerative diseases, few studies have demonstrated that Al could trigger profound changes in neurotransmission systems including the dopaminergic (DAergic) system. A variety of medicinal plants may be prescribed in such contamination, including some culinary spices such as Curcumin (Cur). Several studies have proven Cur to exhibit a wide variety of biological and pharmacological activities, especially its antioxidant potential. Using the immunohistochemistry, of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), in the midbrain substantia nigra pars compact (SNc) and the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and the open field test, we examined the DAergic system together with the locomotor behavior respectively in rats exposed chronically to Al (0,3%) in drinking water during 4 months since the intra-uterine age, as well as the neuroprotective effect of the concomitant administration of Cur I (30 mg/kg B.W) of chronic Al exposed rats. Our results have shown a significant decrease of TH immureactivity in both SNc and VTA associated to a loss of the number of crossed boxes, leading to a difficient locomotor performance in the Al group while Cur I prevents such TH immunoreactivity impairment and maintains a higher locomotor activity in the Al-CurI group. Our findings lead to suppose a powerful and obvious neuroprotective potential of CurI against Al-induced neurotoxicity of the DAergic system involved in the control of the locomotor behavior.