Traumatic brain injury is a devastating neurological injury associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Medical therapies to limit cerebral edema, a cause of increased intracranial hypertension and poor clinical outcome, are largely ineffective, emphasizing the need for novel therapeutic approaches. In the present study, pre-treatment with curcumin (75, 150 mg/kg) or 30 min post-treatment with 300 mg/kg significantly reduced brain water content and improved neurological outcome following a moderate controlled cortical impact in mice. The protective effect of curcumin was associated with a significant attenuation in the acute pericontusional expression of interleukin-1β, a pro-inflammatory cytokine, after injury. Curcumin also reversed the induction of aquaporin-4, an astrocytic water channel implicated in the development of cellular edema following head trauma. Notably, curcumin blocked IL-1β-induced aquaporin-4 expression in cultured astrocytes, an effect mediated, at least in part, by reduced activation of the p50 and p65 subunits of nuclear factor κB. Consistent with this notion, curcumin preferentially attenuated phosphorylated p65 immunoreactivity in pericontusional astrocytes and decreased the expression of glial fibrillary acidic protein, a reactive astrocyte marker. As a whole, these data suggest clinically achievable concentrations of curcumin reduce glial activation and cerebral edema following neurotrauma, a finding which warrants further investigation.
- Cellular edema
- Controlled cortical impact
- Intracranial pressure
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience