Neuroprotective role of curcumin on the hippocampus against the structural and serological alterations of streptozotocin-induced diabetes in sprague dawely rats

Document Type: Original Article


1 Department of Anatomy and Embryology, Faculty of Medicine, Ain Shams University, Egypt

2 Department of Medical Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine (New Damietta), Al Azhar University, Egypt & Department of Clinical Laboratories, College of Applied Medical Sciences, Taif University, KSA


Objective(s): Diabetes mellitus causes impaired memory and cognitive functions. The hippocampus plays a key role in memory and learning. Curcumin attenuates diabetic nephropathy in vivo. Curcumin has shown a neurogenic effect and cognition-enhancing potential in aged rats. The aim of this study is to evaluate the possible protective role of curcumin on the histological and serologicalchanges of the hippocampus in diabetic rats.
Materials and Methods: Forty albino rats were divided into four groups, ten rats each. Group 1 control rats, group 2 rats received curcumin orally (200 mg/kg/day for six weeks), group 3 rats were injected intraperitoneally with streptozotocin (STZ) (100 mg/kg, single dose), group 4 received a single injection of STZ and received curcumin orally for six weeks. Paraffin sections of hippocampus were prepared and stained with hematoxylin and eosin stain, and immnunohistochemical staining for GFAP and caspase-3. Morphometrical and statistical analyses were performed. Glycemic status and parameters of oxidative stress was measured.
Results: Examination of hippocampus of diabetic rats showed disorganization of small pyramidal cells in CA1, many cellular losses in the pyramidal cells of CA3, many degenerated granule cells in the dentate gyrus. GFAP positive astrocyte and caspase-3 positive neuron counts were significantly increased.  There were significant serum glucose elevation and significant lowered levels of oxidative stress parameters as compared to control rats. Curcumin administration improved the structural and serological alterationsof the hippocampuswith significant reduction in serum glucose level.
Conclusion: Curcumin ameliorates the deterious effect of diabetes on the hippocampus through its antioxidant, antiapoptotic and anti-inflammatory efficacies.


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