At the same time, a number of studies have supported the beneficial effects of some commonly used natural products in preventing various pathologic conditions. Spices and herbs often contain phenolic substances with potent antioxidative and chemopreventive properties. Among them is curcumin, a natural phenolic agent, extracted from the rhizome of Curcuma Longa, and the yellow pigment in curry, strongly induced HO-1 expression and activity in rat astrocytes.
In recent years, there has been an unprecedented interest in identifying new pharmacological strategies to increase defense mechanisms by activating multiple antioxidant defense genes, a process that has been referred to as programmed cell life. Previous studies have shown that induction of HO-1 can represent an efficient antioxidant system and a potential pharmacological target in a variety of oxidant- and inflammatory-mediated diseases, including brain aging and neurodegenerative disorders.
A New Study
A new study extends previous findings examining the neuroprotective effects of curcumin and its ability to induce HO-1 on cultured hippocampal neurons. This research effort investigated the effects of curcumin on the expression profiles of other genes involved in the cellular stress response. The study also explored subcellular localization of HO-1 protein in one of the large cells of nervous tissue after treatment with curcumin.
The investigators of a study entitled "Curcumin Cytoprotective Effect in Rat Astrocytes and Neurons is Mediated by Specific Induction of HO-1," will present their findings at the American Physiological Society's (APS) (www.the-aps.org) annual scientific conference, Experimental Biology 2003, being held April 17-21, 2004, at the Washington, D.C. Convention Center.
Contact: Donna Krupa
American Physiological Society