Curcumin reduces α-synuclein induced cytotoxicity in Parkinson's disease cell model

Min S. Wang, Shanta Boddapati, Sharareh Emadi, Michael Sierks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

161 Scopus citations


Background: Overexpression and abnormal accumulation of aggregated α-synuclein (αS) have been linked to Parkinson's disease (PD) and other synucleinopathies. αS can misfold and adopt a variety of morphologies but recent studies implicate oligomeric forms as the most cytotoxic species. Both genetic mutations and chronic exposure to neurotoxins increase αS aggregation and intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS), leading to mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative damage in PD cell models.Results: Here we show that curcumin can alleviate αS-induced toxicity, reduce ROS levels and protect cells against apoptosis. We also show that both intracellular overexpression of αS and extracellular addition of oligomeric αS increase ROS which induces apoptosis, suggesting that aggregated αS may induce similar toxic effects whether it is generated intra- or extracellulary.Conclusions: Since curcumin is a natural food pigment that can cross the blood brain barrier and has widespread medicinal uses, it has potential therapeutic value for treating PD and other neurodegenerative disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number57
JournalBMC Neuroscience
StatePublished - Apr 30 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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