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Multiple antidepressant potential modes of action of curcumin: a review of its anti-inflammatory, monoaminergic, antioxidant, immune-modulating and neuroprotective effects.

Journal of Psychopharmacology (Oxford, England)

metabolism, Serotonin, therapeutic use, pharmacology, Neuroprotective Agents, Immunologic Factors, Humans, Dopamine, Disease Models, Animal, physiopathology, drug therapy, Depressive Disorder, Major, Curcumin, Antioxidants, Antidepressive Agents, Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Animals

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      Abstract

      Curcumin is the principal curcuminoid of the popular Indian spice turmeric and has attracted increasing attention for the treatment of a range of conditions. Research into its potential as a treatment for depression is still in its infancy, although several potential antidepressant mechanisms of action have been identified. Research completed to date on the multiple effects of curcumin is reviewed in this paper, with a specific emphasis on the biological systems that are compromised in depression. The antidepressant effects of curcumin in animal models of depression are summarised, and its influence on neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine is detailed. The effects of curcumin in moderating hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal disturbances, lowering inflammation and protecting against oxidative stress, mitochondrial damage, neuroprogression and intestinal hyperpermeability, all of which are compromised in major depressive disorder, are also summarised. With increasing interest in natural treatments for depression, and efforts to enhance current treatment outcomes, curcumin is presented as a promising novel, adjunctive or stand-alone natural antidepressant.

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      A meta-analysis of cytokines in major depression.

      Major depression occurs in 4.4% to 20% of the general population. Studies suggest that major depression is accompanied by immune dysregulation and activation of the inflammatory response system (IRS). Our objective was to quantitatively summarize the data on concentrations of specific cytokines in patients diagnosed with a major depressive episode and controls. We performed a meta-analysis of studies measuring cytokine concentration in patients with major depression, with a database search of the English literature (to August 2009) and a manual search of references. Twenty-four studies involving unstimulated measurements of cytokines in patients meeting DSM criteria for major depression were included in the meta-analysis; 13 for tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha, 9 for interleukin (IL)-1beta, 16 for IL-6, 5 for IL-4, 5 for IL-2, 4 for IL-8, 6 for IL-10, and 4 for interferon (IFN)-gamma. There were significantly higher concentrations of TNF-alpha (p < .00001), weighted mean difference (WMD) (95% confidence interval) 3.97 pg/mL (2.24 to 5.71), in depressed subjects compared with control subjects (438 depressed/350 nondepressed). Also, IL-6 concentrations were significantly higher (p < .00001) in depressed subjects compared with control subjects (492 depressed/400 nondepressed) with an overall WMD of 1.78 pg/mL (1.23 to 2.33). There were no significant differences among depressed and nondepressed subjects for the other cytokines studied. This meta-analysis reports significantly higher concentrations of the proinflammatory cytokines TNF-alpha and IL-6 in depressed subjects compared with control subjects. While both positive and negative results have been reported in individual studies, this meta-analytic result strengthens evidence that depression is accompanied by activation of the IRS. Copyright 2010 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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        Bioavailability of curcumin: problems and promises.

        Curcumin, a polyphenolic compound derived from dietary spice turmeric, possesses diverse pharmacologic effects including anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiproliferative and antiangiogenic activities. Phase I clinical trials have shown that curcumin is safe even at high doses (12 g/day) in humans but exhibit poor bioavailability. Major reasons contributing to the low plasma and tissue levels of curcumin appear to be due to poor absorption, rapid metabolism, and rapid systemic elimination. To improve the bioavailability of curcumin, numerous approaches have been undertaken. These approaches involve, first, the use of adjuvant like piperine that interferes with glucuronidation; second, the use of liposomal curcumin; third, curcumin nanoparticles; fourth, the use of curcumin phospholipid complex; and fifth, the use of structural analogues of curcumin (e.g., EF-24). The latter has been reported to have a rapid absorption with a peak plasma half-life. Despite the lower bioavailability, therapeutic efficacy of curcumin against various human diseases, including cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, arthritis, neurological diseases and Crohn's disease, has been documented. Enhanced bioavailability of curcumin in the near future is likely to bring this promising natural product to the forefront of therapeutic agents for treatment of human disease.
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          A neurotrophic model for stress-related mood disorders.

          There is a growing body of evidence demonstrating that stress decreases the expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in limbic structures that control mood and that antidepressant treatment reverses or blocks the effects of stress. Decreased levels of BDNF, as well as other neurotrophic factors, could contribute to the atrophy of certain limbic structures, including the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex that has been observed in depressed subjects. Conversely, the neurotrophic actions of antidepressants could reverse neuronal atrophy and cell loss and thereby contribute to the therapeutic actions of these treatments. This review provides a critical examination of the neurotrophic hypothesis of depression that has evolved from this work, including analysis of preclinical cellular (adult neurogenesis) and behavioral models of depression and antidepressant actions, as well as clinical neuroimaging and postmortem studies. Although there are some limitations, the results of these studies are consistent with the hypothesis that decreased expression of BDNF and possibly other growth factors contributes to depression and that upregulation of BDNF plays a role in the actions of antidepressant treatment.
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            Author and article information

            Journal
            10.1177/0269881112458732
            23035031

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