Curcumin-protected PC12 cells against glutamate-induced oxidative toxicity

Chi Huang Chang, Hua Xin Chen, George Yü, Chiung Chi Peng, Robert Y. Peng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Glutamate is a major excitatory neurotransmitter present in the central nervous system. The glutamate/cystine antiporter system xc - connects the antioxidant defense with neurotransmission and behaviour. Overactivation of ionotropic glutamate receptors induces neuronal death, a pathway called excitotoxicity. Glutamate-induced oxidative stress is a major contributor to neurodegenerative diseases including cerebral ischemia, Alzheimer's and Huntington's disease. Curcuma has a wide spectrum of biological activities regarding neuroprotection and neurocognition. By reducing the oxidative damage, curcumin attenuates a spinal cord ischemia-reperfusion injury, seizures and hippocampal neuronal loss. The rat pheochromocytoma (PC12) cell line exhibits many characteristics useful for the study of the neuroprotection and neurocognition. This investigation was carried out to determine whether the neuroprotective eff ects of curcumin can be observed via the glutamate-PC12 cell model. Results indicate that glutamate (20 mM) upregulated glutathione peroxidase 1, glutathione disulphide, Ca2+ influx, nitric oxide production, cytochrome c release, Bax/Bcl-2 ratio, caspase-3 activity, lactate dehydrogenase release, reactive oxygen species, H2O2, and malondialdehyde; and downregulated glutathione, glutathione reductase, superoxide dismutase and catalase, resulting in enhanced cell apoptosis. Curcumin alleviates all these adverse eff ects. Conclusively, curcumin can effectively protect PC12 cells against the glutamate-induced oxidative toxicity. Its mode of action involves two pathways: the glutathione-dependent nitric oxide-reactive oxygen species pathway and the mitochondria-dependent nitric oxide-reactive oxygen species pathway.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)468-478
Number of pages11
JournalFood Technology and Biotechnology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Apoptotic pathways
  • Caspase
  • Curcumin
  • Glutamate cytotoxicity
  • Glutathione
  • Nitric oxide
  • PC12 cell line
  • Reactive oxidative substances

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Biotechnology


Dive into the research topics of 'Curcumin-protected PC12 cells against glutamate-induced oxidative toxicity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this