Zong-Yong Zhang 1 , Ming Jiang 2 , Jie Fang 3 , Ming-Feng Yang 3 , Shuai Zhang 3 , Yan-Xin Yin 2 , Da-Wei Li 3 , Lei-Lei Mao 3 , Xiao-Yan Fu 3 , Ya-Jun Hou 3 , Xiao-Ting Fu 3 , Cun-Dong Fan 4 , Bao-Liang Sun 5
Curcumin and nano-curcumin both exhibit neuroprotective effects in early brain injury (EBI) after experimental subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). However, the mechanism that whether curcumin and its nanoparticles affect the blood-brain barrier (BBB) following SAH remains unclear. This study investigated the effect of curcumin and the poly(lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA)-encapsulated curcumin nanoparticles (Cur-NPs) on BBB disruption and evaluated the possible mechanism underlying BBB dysfunction in EBI using the endovascular perforation rat SAH model. The results indicated that Cur-NPs showed enhanced therapeutic effects than that of curcumin in improving neurological function, reducing brain water content, and Evans blue dye extravasation after SAH. Mechanically, Cur-NPs attenuated BBB dysfunction after SAH by preventing the disruption of tight junction protein (ZO-1, occludin, and claudin-5). Cur-NPs also up-regulated glutamate transporter-1 and attenuated glutamate concentration of cerebrospinal fluid following SAH. Moreover, inhibition of inflammatory response and microglia activation both contributed to Cur-NPs' protective effects. Additionally, Cur-NPs markedly suppressed SAH-mediated oxidative stress and eventually reversed SAH-induced cell apoptosis in rats. Our findings revealed that the strategy of using Cur-NPs could be a promising way in improving neurological function in EBI after experimental rat SAH.