Curcumin exposure induces expression of the Parkinson's disease-associated leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2) in rat mesencephalic cells

Miguel A Ortiz-Ortiz, José M Morán, Luz M Ruiz-Mesa, Mireia Niso-Santano, José M Bravo-SanPedro, Rubén Gómez-Sánchez, Rosa A González-Polo, José M Fuentes

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32 Citations (Scopus)


Turmeric (curry powder), an essential ingredient of culinary preparations of Southeast Asia, contains a major polyphenolic compound known as curcumin or diferuloylmethane. Curcumin is a widely studied phytochemical with a variety of biological activities. In addition to its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial/antiviral properties, curcumin is considered as a cancer chemopreventive agent as well as a modulator of gene expression and a potent antioxidant. Since oxidative stress has been implicated in the degeneration of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra in Parkinson's disease (PD), curcumin has been proposed to have potential therapeutic value for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases such as PD. Following age, a family history of PD is the most commonly reported risk factor, suggesting a genetic component of the disease in a subgroup of patients. The LRRK2 gene has emerged as the gene most commonly associated with both familial and sporadic PD. Here, we report that exposure of rat mesencephalic cells to curcumin induces the expression of LRRK2 mRNA and protein in a time-dependent manner. The expression of other PD-related genes, such alpha-synuclein and parkin, was not affected by exposure to curcumin, and PTEN-induced putative kinase 1 (PINK1) was not expressed in rat mesencephalic cells. As LRRK2 overexpression is strongly associated with the pathological inclusions found in several neurodegenerative disorders, further studies are needed to evaluate the effects of curcumin as a therapeutic agent for neurodegenerative diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)120-4
Number of pages5
JournalNeuroscience Letters
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 4-Jan-2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Animals
  • Cell Line
  • Curcumin
  • Mesencephalon
  • Parkinson Disease
  • Protein Kinases
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Rats
  • Time Factors
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases
  • alpha-Synuclein

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