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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013, Article ID 470975, 10 pages
Research Article

Curcumin Protects Neuron against Cerebral Ischemia-Induced Inflammation through Improving PPAR-Gamma Function

1Department of Neurology, China-Japan Friendship Hospital, 2 Yinghua Dongjie, Hepingli, Beijing 100029, China
2Clinical Research Institute, China-Japan Friendship Hospital, 2 Yinghua Dongjie, Hepingli, Beijing 100029, China

Received 24 February 2013; Accepted 23 April 2013

Academic Editor: Jang-Hern Lee

Copyright © 2013 Zun-Jing Liu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Cerebral ischemia is the most common cerebrovascular disease worldwide. Recent studies have demonstrated that curcumin had beneficial effect to attenuate cerebral ischemic injury. However, it is unclear how curcumin protects against cerebral ischemic injury. In the present study, using rat middle cerebral artery occlusion model, we found that curcumin was a potent PPARγ agonist in that it upregulated PPARγ expression and PPARγ-PPRE binding activity. Administration of curcumin markedly decreased the infarct volume, improved neurological deficits, and reduced neuronal damage of rats. In addition, curcumin suppressed neuroinflammatory response by decreasing inflammatory mediators, such as IL-1β, TNF-α, PGE2, NO, COX-2, and iNOS induced by cerebral ischemia of rats. Furthermore, curcumin suppressed IκB degradation that was caused by cerebral ischemia. The present data also showed that PPARγ interacted with NF-κB-p65 and thus inhibited NF-κB activation. All the above protective effects of curcumin on cerebral ischemic injury were markedly attenuated by GW9662, an inhibitor of PPARγ. Our results as described above suggested that PPARγ induced by curcumin may play a critical role in protecting against brain injury through suppression of inflammatory response. It also highlights the potential of curcumin as a therapeutic agent against cerebral ischemia.