Evaluation of the protective effect curcumin on encephalopathy caused by intrahepatic and extrahepatic damage in male rats

Document Type : Original Article


1 Physiology Research Center, Institute of Neuropharmacology, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran

2 Neuroscience Research Center, Institute of Neuropharmacology, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran

3 Endocrinology and Metabolism Research Center, Institute of Basic and Clinical Physiology Sciences, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran

4 Department of Physiology, Bam University of Medical Sciences, Bam, Iran

5 Medical School, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran

6 Pathology and Stem Cell Research Center, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran


Objective(s): Along with increased intracranial pressure (ICP) and brain damage, brain edema is the most common cause of death in patients with hepatic encephalopathy. Curcumin can pass the blood-brain barrier and possesses anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. This study focuses on the curcumin protective effect on intrahepatic and extrahepatic damage in the brain.
Materials and Methods: One hundred and forty-four male Albino N-Mary rats were randomly divided into 2 main groups: intrahepatic injury group and extrahepatic cholestasis group. In intra-hepatic injury group intrahepatic damage was induced by intraperitoneal (IP) injection of acetaminophen (500 mg/kg) [19] and included four subgroups: 1. Sham, 2. Acetaminophen (APAP), 3. Normal saline (Veh) which was used as curcumin solvent, and 4. Curcumin (CMN).  In extrahepatic cholestasis group intrahepatic damage was caused by common bile duct litigation (BDL) and included four subgroups: 1. Sham, 2. BDL, 3. Vehicle (Veh), and 4. Curcumin (CMN). In both groups, 72 hr after induction of cholestasis, brain water content, blood-brain barrier permeability, serum ammonia, and histopathological indicators were examined and ICP was measured every 24 hr for three days.
Results: The results showed that curcumin reduced brain edema, ICP, serum ammonia, and blood-brain barrier permeability after extrahepatic and intrahepatic damage. The maximum effect of curcumin on ICP was observed 72 hr after the injection.
Conclusion: According to our findings, it seems that curcumin is an effective therapeutic intervention for treating encephalopathy caused by extrahepatic and intrahepatic damage.


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