Discipline: Biological Sciences
Subcategory: Cell and Molecular Biology
Victoria Ubanyionwu - Texas Southern University
Co-Author(s): Vignesh Krishnamoorthy, University of Texas at Dallas, TX
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive neurodegeneration disease. It is a common form of dementia, general term for memory loss and other intellectual abilities serious enough to interfere with daily life. Endothelin-1 (ET-1) is a vasoactive peptide whose level is elevated in the circulation in a number of cardiovascular pathologies. Recent studies also suggest that levels of ET-1 are also increased in the brain tissue of Alzheimer’s patients. It is possible that ET-1 may be a contributor to the pathology of Alzheimer’s disease. Curcumin found in the spice turmeric, has been shown to have anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and neuroprotective effects. However the mechanisms underlying some of these beneficial effects are not completely be understood. We hypothesized that curcumin prevents activation of the immediate early gene, c-Jun, that contributes to neuronal death caused by ET-1 treatment in primary hippocampal neurons. Primary hippocampal neurons from rat pups were isolated using a published protocol. The purity of the culture was checked by immunocytochemistry using a β-tubulin III antibody. Immunoblot analysis was performed to investigate the status of c-Jun expression in hippocampal neurons treated with ET-1 alone or a combination of ET-1 and curcumin. The purity of primary hippocampal neuronal cells in culture was found to be greater than 95%. Treatment of hippocampal neurons with ET-1 produced a 2-fold increase in the levels of c-Jun as determined by an immunoblot analysis. Curcumin treatment alone did not appreciably alter c-Jun levels. Co-treatment of curcumin with ET1 significant attenuated the ET-1 mediated increase in c-Jun. This data suggests that one mechanism by which curcumin protects against ET-1 mediated cell death is through blocking cJun activation in hippocampal neurons.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): Funded by the Department of Health and Human Services, National Institute of Health, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, SMART grant 2R25HL007786-21 to Dr. Thomas Yorio.
Faculty Advisor: Raghu Krishnamoorthy,