• the Korean Society for Brain and Neural Sciences


Original Article

Exp Neurobiol 2013; 22(4): 258-267

Published online December 30, 2013

© The Korean Society for Brain and Neural Sciences

Curcumin Can Prevent the Changes in Cerebellar Structure and Function Induced by Sodium Metabisulfite in Rat

Ali Noorafshan1,2, Ali Rashidiani-Rashidabadi2, Saied Karbalay-Doust1,2*, Aghdas Poostpasand2, Mohammad-Amin Abdollahifar2 and Reza Asadi-Golshan2

1Histomorphometry and Stereology Research Centre, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences,2Anatomy Department, School of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Fars 71348-45794, Iran

Correspondence to: *To whom correspondence should be addressed.
TEL: 98-711-2304372, FAX: 98-711-2304372

Received: October 8, 2013; Revised: November 7, 2013; Accepted: November 7, 2013


Sulfites are used as anti-microbial and anti-oxidant agents in the food and pharmaceutical industries. Curcumin, a flavonoid, is an Asian spice that shows neuroprotective activities. The current study aimed to stereologically assess the rats' cerebellar cortex and rotarod performance following sulfite exposure and determine the possible neuroprotective potential of curcumin. The rats were divided into five groups: distilled water, olive oil, curcumin (100 mg/kg/day), sodium metabisulfite (25 mg/kg/day), and sodium metabisulfite+curcumin. At 56 days after treatment, rotarod performance was tested, and then the cerebellum was removed for stereological analysis. The study results revealed 31%, 36%, 19% and 24% decrease in the total volume of the cerebellum, cortex, the total number of the Purkinje cells and length of the nerve fibers in the cortex per Purkinje, respectively in the sodium metabisulfite-treated rats compared to the distilled water group (p<0.01). The pre-trained animals on the rotarod apparatus were tested first on the fixed speed rotarod protocol followed by the accelerating rotarod protocol two days later. The results showed a significant decrease in the latency to fall in both test in sulfite-treated rats. The sulfite effects on the structural parameters and rotarod performance were significantly protected by the concomitant curcumin treatment (p<0.001). Sulfite can induce structural and functional changes in the rats' cerebellum and concomitant curcumin prescription plays a neuroprotective role.

Keywords: cerebellum, sulfite, curcumin, rat, histology