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Curcumin alleviates pain and improves cognitive impairment in a rat model of cobra venom-induced trigeminal neuralgia

Authors Zhang L, Ding X, Wu Z, Wang M, Tian M

Received 16 January 2018

Accepted for publication 24 April 2018

Published 20 June 2018 Volume 2018:11 Pages 1095—1104


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Erica Wegrzyn

Li Zhang,1 Xinli Ding,2 Zhe Wu,3 Min Wang,1 Ming Tian1

1Department of Anesthesiology, Beijing Friendship Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing 100050, 2Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Shandong Provincial Hospital Affiliated to Shandong University, Jinan 250021, 3Department of Anesthesiology, Pain Medicine and Critical Care Medicine, Aviation General Hospital of China Medical University, Beijing 100012, China

Background: Cognitive impairment is a common complication in patients with chronic neuropathic pain, without effective therapy. Recent works have indicated that curcumin (Cur) possesses antinociceptive and neuroprotective potentials, suggesting its possible effectiveness for the treatment of this complication.
Objective: The aim of this study was to explore the effects of Cur on pain behaviors and cognitive impairment in rats with cobra venom-induced trigeminal neuralgia (TN).
Design: This is a randomized, controlled experiment.
Setting: This study was conducted at the Experimental Animal Center, Beijing Friendship Hospital, Capital Medical University.
Subjects: A total of 40 adult male Sprague Dawley rats were used in this study.
Methods: A cobra venom solution was injected into the sheath of infraorbital nerve. Cur was administered intragastrically at 45 mg/kg twice daily for 28 successive days from postoperative day 15. Mechanical allodynia was evaluated using von Frey filaments. Free behaviors were observed using video recording. Cognitive capacity was tested using the Morris water maze. Both morphology and ultrastructure of the CA1 hippocampal region were visualized using hematoxylin and eosin (HE) staining and transmission electron microscopy, respectively.
Results: Cur treatment reduced mechanical allodynia and face-grooming activities but increased exploratory activities and improved spatial learning and memory deficits. Microscopic examination revealed nucleus pyknosis, swollen organelles, and decreased synapse density in the CA1 hippocampal region after cobra venom injection. However, chronic Cur treatment reversed damage to hippocampal neurons and synapses.
Conclusion: Cur can alleviate pain, improve spatial learning and memory deficits, and restore the damage to hippocampal neurons and synapses in cobra venom-induced TN rats. Cur may be useful as an adjuvant to treat chronic neuropathic pain-induced cognitive deficits.

curcumin, cognitive impairment, trigeminal neuralgia, cobra venom, hippocampus, ultrastructural changes

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