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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 18  |  Issue : 79  |  Page : 679-684

The effect of curcumin on Aβ, Akt, and GSK3β on the brain and retina of APP/PS1 mice and in the blood of alzheimer's patients with early-stage disease

1 Kangning Hospital of Ningbo, Ningbo City, China
2 Ningbo University, Ningbo City, Zhejiang Province, China

Correspondence Address:
Chenjun Zou
Zhuangyu South 1#, Zhenhai, Ningbo City, Zhejiang Province 315201
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/pm.pm_490_21

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Background: Curcumin possesses multifunctional pharmacological properties, including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antidiabetic properties. We investigated whether curcumin can improve pathological changes associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD), including amyloid β (Aβ), protein kinase B (PKB, also termed Akt), and glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK3β) levels and expression. Materials and Methods: Alzheimer's transgenic APPSWE/PS1ΔE9 mice and wild-type mice were treated with curcumin by intragastric administration for 2 weeks at 2 and 5 months of age, respectively. Aβ plaques and contents in the brain and retina were measured by immunohistochemistry and enzyme-linked immune sorbent assay, respectively, while the expression of Akt and GSK3β was tested by RNA isolation and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. Blood of patients with AD and age-matched healthy controls was used to determine the contents of Aβ, Akt, and GSK3β. Results: Curcumin treatment decreased Aβ accumulation in the early stages of AD at 5 months (P < 0.001). It also improved AD-associated pathological changes, including upregulation of Akt (P < 0.01) and downregulation of GSK3β (P < 0.01). In addition to AD-associated changes, the proinflammatory cytokine interleukin (IL)-1β was significantly decreased with curcumin treatment (P < 0.05). Conclusion: In the early stage of AD, curcumin can suppress Aβ accumulation, upregulate the expression of Akt, downregulate the expression of GSK3β, and inhibit the proinflammatory cytokine IL-1β. But in the late stage, curcumin has an insignificant inhibitory effect on GSK3β. In patients with AD, a low expression of Akt and a high expression of GSK3β were observed. Curcumin may have a similar effect on patients with AD by regulating these protein expressions and can be used to improve the pathological features of AD in the early stages of the disease.

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