Aromatic-turmerone induces neural stem cell proliferation in vitro and in vivo

Aromatic (ar-) turmerone is a major bioactive compound of the herb Curcuma longa. It has been suggested that ar-turmerone inhibits microglia activation, a property that may be useful in treating neurodegenerative disease. Furthermore, the effects of ar-turmerone on neural stem cells (NSCs) remain to be investigated. We exposed primary fetal rat NSCs to various concentrations of ar-turmerone. Thereafter, cell proliferation and differentiation potential were assessed. In vivo, naïve rats were treated with a single intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) injection of ar-turmerone. Proliferative activity of endogenous NSCs was assessed in vivo, by using noninvasive positron emission tomography (PET) imaging and the tracer [18F]-fluoro-L-thymidine ([18F]FLT), as well as ex vivo. In vitro, ar-turmerone increased dose-dependently the number of cultured NSCs, because of an increase in NSC proliferation (P < 0.01). Proliferation data were supported by qPCR-data for Ki-67 mRNA. In vitro as well as in vivo, ar-turmerone promoted neuronal differentiation of NSCs. In vivo, after i.c.v. injection of ar-turmerone, proliferating NSCs were mobilized from the subventricular zone (SVZ) and the hippocampus of adult rats, as demonstrated by both [18F]FLT-PET and histology (P < 0.05). Both in vitro and in vivo data suggest that ar-turmerone induces NSC proliferation. Ar-turmerone thus constitutes a promising candidate to support regeneration in neurologic disease.

About Robert Zinn

Robert Zinn, M.D., Ph.D. is a medical doctor, physician, and web entrepreneur, who, for over 15 years was employed by academic and research institutions and focused his clinical practices on very specialized patient populations, such as those with rare genetic diseases or rare cancers. He shares his knowledge through his website,

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