Curcumin and its Role in Reducing Manganese-Induced Neurotoxicity in Astrocytes

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences


Basic Sciences

First Advisor

Harold Komiskey, PhD

Second Advisor

Mary P. Owen, PhD, JD

Third Advisor

Desuo Wang, PhD

Fourth Advisor

Bonnie Buxton, PhD


Manganese (Mn) is an essential trace metal required for the preservation of a variety of homeostatic mechanisms involved in maintaining normal physiological processes. However, accumulation of excess Mn in the brain often leads to a serious neurodegenerative disease referred to as manganism. In particular, accumulation of Mn in glial cells called astrocytes is of significant importance because of their involvement and function with memory, emotional response, navigation and spatial orientation. These oells also possess a high affinity, high capacity, and specific transport systems for manganese uptake. In the present study, we employed rat hippocampal astrocytes to investigate the molecular changes in glial fibrillary acidic protein (GF AP) release involved in Mn neurotoxicity and the neuroprotective propeliies of curcumin. The astrocytes were pretreated with increasing concentrations of curcumin (1 ~M, 3 ~M, 1 O~M) followed by increasing concentrations of manganese sulfate (1 OO~M, 300~M, 600~M) and examined for dose-related toxic changes in GF AP release using an enzymelinked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The results of this preliminary study indicate a decreasing trend of GF AP release when cells were treated with 3-1 00 ~M, 1 0-1 OO~M, 3- 300 ~M and 10-300 ~M (curcumin-Mn); however these decreases were not statistically significant using a one-way ANOV A.

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