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Papers of the Week

2022 Mar 07

Biomed Pharmacother


The dual gastro- and neuroprotective effects of curcumin loaded chitosan nanoparticles against cold restraint stress in rats.


Ali KA, El-Naa MM, Bakr AF, Mahmoud MY, Abdelgawad EM, Matoock MY
Biomed Pharmacother. 2022 Mar 07; 148:112778.
PMID: 35272135.


Stress is a condition affecting different body systems. Curcumin (CUR) is a natural compound that has various pharmacological benefits. However, its poor oral bioavailability limits its therapeutic value. This study aimed to formulating curcumin loaded chitosan nanoparticles (CS.CUR.NPs) and investigate its gastroprotective and neuroprotective effects in rats subjected to cold restraint stress (CRS), in reference to conventional oral CUR preparation, and explore its underlying mechanism. Treated groups received either CUR or CS.CUR.NPs (100 mg∕kg) orally for 14 days before exposure to CRS. CRS elicited marked behavioral changes and gastric ulcer accompanied by histopathological abnormalities of the brain and stomach along with elevation of pain score. CUR and CS.CUR.NPs improved stress-induced gastric ulcer, cognitive performance, and pain sensation. Mechanistically, CRS disrupts oxidative and inflammatory status of the brain as manifested by high malondialdehyde and IL-6 and low total antioxidant capacity and IL-10, along with high C-reactive protein level. CRS decreased nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor2 (Nrf2) and increased nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) expressions. Furthermore, brain levels of unphosphorylated signal transducer and activator of transcription3 (U-STAT3) and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) were upregulated with stress. CUR and CS.CUR.NPs provided beneficial effects against harmful consequences resulting from stress with superior beneficial effects reported with CS.CUR.NPs. In conclusion, these findings shed light on the neuroprotective effect of CUR and CS.CUR.NPs against stress-induced neurobehavioral and neurochemical deficits and protection against stress-associated gastric ulcer. Moreover, we explored a potential crosslink between neuroinflammation, U-STAT3, NF-κB, and GFAP in brain dysfunction resulted from CRS.