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Curcumin is extracted from the turmeric plant (Curcuma longa Linn.) and is widely used as a food additive and traditional medicine. The present study investigated the activity of curcumin against staurosporine (STS) toxicity in cell culture. Rat hippocampal neurons in primary culture were exposed to STS (20 μmol/L) and treated with curcumin (20 μmol/L). Cell viability was tested by MTT assay and reactive oxygen species (ROS) were measured using the MitoSOX™ red mitochondrial superoxide indicator. Western blot was used to assess changes in the levels of caspase-3 (Csp3), heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70) and Akt. The results showed that curcumin protects against STS-induced cytotoxicity in rat hippocampal neurons. Csp3, Hsp70, Akt and ROS activation may be involved in this protection. Curcumin could be a potential drug for combination with STS in cancer treatment to reduce the unwanted cytotoxicity of STS.


Xiao-Yan Qin, Ji-Hui Lv, Jia Cui, Xue Fang, Yan Zhang. Curcumin protects against staurosporine toxicity in rat neurons. Neuroscience bulletin. 2012 Oct;28(5):606-10

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PMID: 23054638

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