Binding of Curcumin to Senile Plaques and Cerebral Amyloid Angiopathy in the Aged Brain of Various Animals and to Neurofibrillary Tangles in Alzheimer's Brain
ABSTRACT The binding of curcumin to senile plaques (SPs) and cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA) was examined in the aged brain of various animal species and a human patient with Alzheimer's disease (AD), together with its binding to neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs). Brain sections were immunostained with anti-amyloid β protein 1-42 (Aβ42) and anti-amyloid β protein 1-40 (Aβ40) antibodies. These sections were also stained with alkaline Congo red, periodic acid-methenamine silver (PAM), and curcumin (0.009% curcumin solution) with or without formic acid pretreatment. The sections from the AD brain were also immunostained for anti-paired helical filament-tau (PHF-tau), and were stained with Gallyas silver for NFTs. Some SPs in the AD, monkey, dog, bear, and amyloid precursor protein transgenic mouse (APP Tg-mouse) brains contained congophilic materials, and were intensely positive for curcumin. In addition, curcumin labeled some diffuse SPs negative for Congo red in the AD, monkey, bear, and APP Tg-mouse brains. In all animals, CAA was intensely positive for both Congo red and curcumin. The specific curcumin staining activity was lost by formic acid pretreatment. In the AD brain, NFTs positive for PHF-tau and Gallyas silver were moderately stained with curcumin. These findings indicate that curcumin specifically binds to the aggregated Aβ molecules in various animals, and further to phosphorylated tau protein, probably according to its conformational nature.
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ABSTRACT: Curcumin, an active polyphenol of the golden spice turmeric, is a highly pleiotropic molecule with the potential to modulate the biological activity of a number of signaling molecules. Traditionally, this polyphenol has been used in Asian countries to treat such human ailments as acne, psoriasis, dermatitis, and rash. Recent studies have indicated that curcumin can target newly identified signaling pathways including those associated with microRNA, cancer stem cells, and autophagy. Extensive research from preclinical and clinical studies has delineated the molecular basis for the pharmaceutical uses of this polyphenol against cancer, pulmonary diseases, neurological diseases, liver diseases, metabolic diseases, autoimmune diseases, cardiovascular diseases, and numerous other chronic diseases. Multiple studies have indicated the safety and efficacy of curcumin in numerous animals including rodents, monkeys, horses, rabbits, and cats and have provided a solid basis for evaluating its safety and efficacy in humans. To date, more than 65 human clinical trials of curcumin, which included more than 1000 patients, have been completed, and as many as 35 clinical trials are underway. Curcumin is now used as a supplement in several countries including the United States, India, Japan, Korea, Thailand, China, Turkey, South Africa, Nepal, and Pakistan. In this review, we provide evidence for the pharmaceutical uses of curcumin for various diseases. © 2013 BioFactors, 2013.BioFactors 01/2013; 39(1). DOI:10.1002/biof.1079 · 3.00 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Since the description by Alois Alzheimer, more than 50 years have passed during which senile dementia and pre-senile dementia have been considered Alzheimer disease (AD) on the basis of their common neuropathological and clinical manifestations. AD now covers pre-senile dementia, senile dementia, mild cognitive impairment and pre-clinical AD, all of them within the context of AD-related pathology. However, there is still a gray area between normal aging with AD-related pathology and AD. Here it is proposed that Alzheimer (or alzheimer) is an age-related neurodegenerative process distinguished from normal aging by the presence of senile plaques and neurofibrillary tangles. Alzheimer affects about 80% of individuals aged 65 years but dementia only occurs in a small percentage of individuals at this age; prevalence of dementia in Alzheimer increases to 25% in individuals aged 80 years. The concepts derived from the β-amyloid hypothesis support β-amyloid as a conductor in the pathogenesis of familial AD and as a prodding factor in sporadic AD. Moreover, seeding of β-amyloid and truncated tau explains incorporation, enhancement and perpetuation of AD-related changes. Therefore, the earliest Alzheimer changes confined to selected regions are the first grounds and the main risk factor for developing dementia. The term Alzheimer embraces this assumption and likens its meaning to other degenerative biological processes, such as atherosclerosis, that may eventually progress to disease. In this context, the first stages of Alzheimer should be considered as primary targets of therapeutic intervention in order to prevent progression to diseased states.Progress in Neurobiology 03/2012; 97(1):38-51. DOI:10.1016/j.pneurobio.2012.03.005 · 10.30 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Alzheimer's disease (AD) involves multiple pathological processes in the brain, including increased inflammation and oxidative damage, as well as the accumulation of amyloid-β (Aβ) plaques. We hypothesized that a combinatorial therapeutic approach to target these multiple pathways may provide cognitive and neuropathological benefits for AD patients. To test this hypothesis, we used a canine model of human aging and AD. Aged dogs naturally develop learning and memory impairments, human-type Aβ deposits, and oxidative damage in the brain. Thus, 9 aged beagles (98-115 months) were treated with a medical food cocktail containing (1) an extract of turmeric containing 95% curcuminoids; (2) an extract of green tea containing 50% epigallocatechingallate; (3) N-acetyl cysteine; (4) R-alpha lipoic acid; and (5) an extract of black pepper containing 95% piperine. Nine similarly aged dogs served as placebo-treated controls. After 3 months of treatment, 13 dogs completed a variable distance landmark task used as a measure of spatial attention. As compared to placebo-treated animals, dogs receiving the medical food cocktail had significantly lower error scores (t(11) = 4.3, p = 0.001) and were more accurate across all distances (F(1,9) = 20.7, p = 0.001), suggesting an overall improvement in spatial attention. Measures of visual discrimination learning, executive function and spatial memory, and levels of brain and cerebrospinal fluid Aβ were unaffected by the cocktail. Our results indicate that this medical food cocktail may be beneficial for improving spatial attention and motivation deficits associated with impaired cognition in aging and AD.Journal of Alzheimer's disease: JAD 08/2012; DOI:10.3233/JAD-2012-120937 · 3.61 Impact Factor