Oxidative stress and hippocampus in a low-grade hepatic encephalopathy model: protective effects of curcumin


Dr Diego Martín Roselló, Laboratory of Portal Hypertension, School of Pharmacy and Biochemistry, University of Buenos Aires, Junín 956, CP 1113, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Email:


Aim:  The present study was performed on prehepatic portal hypertensive rats, a model of low-grade hepatic encephalopathy, designed to evaluate whether oxidative stress was a possible pathway implicated in hippocampal damage and if so, the effect of an anti-oxidant to prevent it.

Methods:  Prehepatic portal hypertension was induced by a regulated portal vein stricture. Oxidative stress was investigated by assessing related biochemical parameters in rat hippocampus. The effect of the anti-oxidant curcumin, administered in a single i.p. dose of 100 mg/kg on the seventh, ninth and eleventh days after surgery, was evaluated.

Results:  Oxidative stress in the rat hippocampal area was documented. Curcumin significantly decreased tissue malondialdehyde levels and significantly increased glutathione peroxidase, catalase and superoxide dismutase activities in the hippocampal tissue of portal hypertensive rats.

Conclusion:  Oxidative stress was found to be implicated in the hippocampal damage and curcumin protected against this oxidative stress in low-grade hepatic encephalopathic rats. These protective effects may be attributed to its anti-oxidant properties.