DOI: 10.1111/cbdd.14439 ISSN: 1747-0277

A highly bioavailable curcumin formulation ameliorates inflammation cytokines and neurotrophic factors in mice with traumatic brain injury

Ayse Arzu Sakul, Zeynep Balcikanli, Nilay Ates Ozsoy, Cemal Orhan, Nurhan Sahin, Mehmet Tuzcu, Vijaya Juturu, Ertugrul Kilic, Kazim Sahin
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Biochemistry
  • Drug Discovery
  • Pharmacology
  • Organic Chemistry


A novel curcumin formulation increases relative absorption by 46 times (CurcuWIN®) of the total curcuminoids over the unformulated standard curcumin form. However, the exact mechanisms by which curcumin demonstrates its neuroprotective effects are not fully understood. This study aimed to investigate the impact of a novel formulation of curcumin on the expression of brain‐derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), a main component of the glial scar and growth‐associated protein‐43 (GAP‐43), a signaling molecule in traumatic brain injury (TBI). Mice (adult, male, C57BL/6j) were randomly divided into three groups as follows: TBI group (TBI‐induced mice); TBI + CUR group (TBI mice were injected i.p. curcumin just after TBI); TBI+ CurcuWIN® group (TBI mice were injected i.p. CurcuWIN® just after TBI). Brain injury was induced using a cold injury model. Injured brain tissue was stained with Cresyl violet to evaluate infarct volume and brain swelling, analyzed, and measured using ImageJ by Bethesda (MD, USA). Western blot analysis was performed to determine the protein levels related to injury. While standard curcumin significantly reduced brain injury, CurcuWIN® showed an even greater reduction associated with reductions in glial activation, NF‐κB, and the inflammatory cytokines IL‐1β and IL‐6. Additionally, both standard curcumin and CurcuWIN® led to increased BDNF, GAP‐43, ICAM‐1, and Nrf2 expression. Notably, CurcuWIN® enhanced their expression more than standard curcumin. This data suggests that highly bioavailable curcumin formulation has a beneficial effect on the traumatic brain in mice.

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