Curcumin induces cortico-hippocampal neuronal reshaping and memory improvements in aged mice

Aldo Efrain González-Granillo, Dino Gnecco, Alfonso Díaz, Linda Garcés-Ramírez, Fidel de la Cruz, Ismael Juarez, Julio César Morales-Medina, Gonzalo Flores

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Aging induces cognitive decline, reduces of synaptic plasticity and increases oxidative reactive species (ROS) in the central nervous system. Traditional medicine has long benefitted from naturally occurring molecules such as curcumin (diferuloymethane). Curcumin is extracted from the plant Curcuma longa and is known for its synaptic and antioxidant-related benefits. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that chronic curcumin treatment reduces cognitive and cellular effects of aging. Curcumin-treated mice showed improved learning and memory using the Morris Water Maze and novel object recognition task. In addition, using the Golgi-Cox stain, curcumin treatment increased spine density in all evaluated regions and increased dendritic arborization in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) layer 3 and CA3 subregion of the hippocampus. Moreover, chronic curcumin exposure increased synaptophysin and actin expression and reduced glial fibrillary acidic protein expression, a marker of astrocytes, in the hippocampus (CA1 and CA3 subregions), while simultaneously reducing the ROS-related molecule, metallothionein 3 expression in the PFC and hippocampus. Collectively, these novel findings suggest that curcumin reduces cognitive, neuronal and astrocytic signs of aging in mice.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102091
JournalJournal of Chemical Neuroanatomy
Volume121
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2022

Keywords

  • Aging, synaptic plasticity
  • Curcuma
  • Curcumin
  • Hippocampus
  • Memory
  • Prefrontal cortex

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