Curcumin attenuates development of depressive-like behavior in male rats after spinal cord injury: involvement of NLRP3 inflammasome


  • Atousa Yarahmadi Department of Anatomy, School of Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
  • Fatemeh Malek Educational Development Center, Virtual University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
  • Mahnaz Poorhassan Educational Development Center, Virtual University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
  • Neda Ghaffari Department of Anatomy, School of Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
  • Babak Ebrahimi Department of Anatomy, School of Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
  • Mahshid Bazrafkan Reproductive Biotechnology Research Center, Avicenna Research Institute, ACECR, Tehran, Iran.
  • Naseer Mahdi Mohammed Department of Pharmacy, Mazaya University College, Thi-Qar, Iraq.
  • Alya Almahafdha School of Medicine, International Campus, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
  • Gholamreza Hassanzadeh Department of Anatomy, School of Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran; Department of Neuroscience and Addiction Studies, School of Advanced Technologies in Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.



Spinal Cord Injuries, Depression, Curcumin, Hippocampus, Inflammasome


Objectives: The purpose of this study is investigating curcumin role in mood alterations in male rats after spinal cord injury through focusing on the involvement of NLRP3 inflammasome.

Methods: Fourteen  adualt male Wistar rats (220–250 g) were divided to five animal groups (n = 8 per group): Control: healthy animals which  received normal saline for 14 days; spinal cord injury: spinal cord injury-induced animals which received normal saline for 14 days; spinal cord injury + curcumin (20, 40, and 80 mg/kg/ i.p): spinal cord injury-induced animals treated with 3 doses of curcumin for 14 days. To assess the mood of animals, the elevated plus maze test, forced swimming test, tail suspension test, and open field test were performed. Graph-pad prism software was used for data analysis. Statistical analysis was done by one-way ANOVA with Tukey’s post hoc test. P < 0.05 was statistically significant.

Results: Treatment with curcumin with two doses of 40 and 80 mg/kg increased open arm time and decreased close arm time as compared to the spinal cord injury group. The administration of curcumin (40 mg/kg and 80 mg/kg) enhanced the altered behaviors. Spinal cord injury caused an increase in the protein levels NLRP3, ASC and Casp1 in the hippocampus of animals as compared to the sham group. Curcumin regulated the protein levels of NLRP3, ASC and Casp1 in the hippocampus of animals.

Conclusion: Depression is prevalent in person with spinal cord injury and our findings indicated that curcumin appears to constitute a suitable agent to reduce neuroinflammation and through it, relieve a depressive-like state.


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How to Cite

Yarahmadi, A. ., Malek, F. ., Poorhassan, M. ., Ghaffari, N. ., Ebrahimi, B. ., Bazrafkan, M. ., Mahdi Mohammed, N. ., Almahafdha, A. ., & Hassanzadeh, G. . (2022). Curcumin attenuates development of depressive-like behavior in male rats after spinal cord injury: involvement of NLRP3 inflammasome. Journal of Contemporary Medical Sciences, 8(3).

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