Potential therapeutic effect of curcumin, a natural mTOR inhibitor, in tuberous sclerosis complex

Chu Jen Kuo, Chi Chen Huang, Szu Yi Chou, Yu Chun Lo, Tzu Jen Kao, Nai Kuei Huang, Connie Lin, Hsin Chuan Lin, Hui Ching Lin, Yi Chao Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Curcumin is a polyphenol natural product of the plant Curcuma longa. Recent studies suggest that curcumin inhibit mTOR activity in vitro, which prompts us to investigate curcumin function as a new class of mTOR inhibitor suitable for tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) treatment. Purpose: We aim to investigate the efficacy of curcumin in the treatment of TSC related manifestations in animal model. Study Design: Solid lipid curcumin particle (SLCP), a novel curcumin formulation, was used to treat TSC related manifestations in Tsc2 knockout mice. Methods: The novel object recognition test was used to analyze the recognition memory function. The long-term potentiation was studied using electrophysiological analysis. Western blotting was used to assess the protein expression and activation status. Results: Recognition memory deficit began as early as 4 weeks of age in both male and female Tsc2+/− mice. Oral administration with SLCP activates AMPK activity and inhibits mTOR activity in the brain tissue of Tsc2+/− mice, and can rescue the electrophysiological abnormality and object recognition memory loss in the mice. Conclusions: Our results suggest that SLCP could be an effective treatment for TSC patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)132-139
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - Feb 15 2019


  • Curcumin
  • Solid lipid curcumin particle
  • Tuberous sclerosis complex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Complementary and alternative medicine


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