Curcumin improves spatial memory impairment induced by human immunodeficiency virus type 1 glycoprotein 120 V3 loop peptide in rats

Hongmei Tang, Daxiang Lu, Rui Pan, Xuebin Qin, Huangui Xiong, Jun Dong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

49 Scopus citations


Aims: Human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1)-associated dementia (HAD) is a significant consequence of HIV infection. Although highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) has dramatically decreased HIV-1 load in acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) patients, HAART does not completely protect against the development of HAD, therefore novel strategies for the prevention and treatment are urgently needed. In this study, we chose curcumin which has a neuroprotective role and tested the effect against neuron damage induced by HIV-1gp120 V3 loop peptide. Main methods: Rats were given 150 ng gp120 V3 peptide by intracerebroventricular (ICV) infusion for 3 days to establish the cognitive dysfunction model. After recovery from the surgery, the rats in treatment groups were given curcumin by intragastric infusion for 2 weeks. Subsequently, we used the Morris water maze test, long-term potentiation (LTP) recording, biochemical measurement of oxidative damage, Nissl staining, and BDNF immunostaining to evaluate the neuropathological changes and the effect of curcumin on rats. Key findings: Our results documented that the gp120 V3 peptide induced impairment of spatial learning and memory, inhibited LTP in the CA1 region of the hippocampus, and mediated oxidative stress and neuronal injury. These impairments were ameliorated by intragastric infusion of curcumin. Significance: These results suggested that dietary supplementation of curcumin may be a potential therapeutic strategy for the treatment and/or prevention of HAD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalLife Sciences
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jul 1 2009



  • Curcumin
  • HAD
  • HIV-1gp120
  • Neuroprotection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)

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