Food and Behaviour Research

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Protective Effect of Curcumin and its Combination with Piperine (Bioavailability Enhancer) Against Haloperidol-Associated Neurotoxicity: Cellular and Neurochemical Evidence

Bishnoi M, Chopra K, Rongzhu L, Kulkarni SK. (2010) Neurotox Res.  Nov 13. [Epub ahead of print]  

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Long-term treatment with haloperidol is associated with a number of extrapyramidal side effects, particularly the irregular movements of chorionic type. This limitation presents a marked therapeutic challenge.

The present study investigates the molecular etiology of haloperidol neurotoxicity and the role of curcumin, a well-known anti-oxidant, in ameliorating these adverse effects. The redox status of haloperidol-treated brains along with NO, TNF-α, NF-kappaB p65 subunit, caspase-3, and monoamine neurotransmitters were measured in the striatum of rat brain.

Chronic treatment with haloperidol (5 mg/kg, i.p., 21 days) produced orofacial dyskinetic movements which were coupled with marked increase in oxidative stress parameters, TNF-α, caspase-3 activity in cytoplasmic lysate and active p65 sub unit of NF-kappaB in nuclear lysates of the striatum. Neurochemically, chronic administration of haloperidol resulted in a significant decrease in the levels of norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin. The prototype atypical anti-psychotic, clozapine (10 mg/kg, i.p., 21 days) produced mild oxidative stress but did not alter any other parameters.

Interestingly, co-administration of curcumin (25 and 50 mg/kg, i.p., 21 days) dose-dependently prevented all the behavioral, cellular, and neurochemical changes associated with the chronic administration of haloperidol. Curcumin per se (50 mg/kg) did not show any side effects. Co-administration of piperine significantly enhanced the effect of curcumin (25 mg/kg) but not of curcumin (50 mg/kg). Collectively, the data indicated the potential of curcumin as an adjunct to haloperidol treatment and provided initial clues to the underlying molecular mechanisms in haloperidol neurotoxicity. This study also provides a rationale for the combination of piperine and curcumin.