Intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Acute hematoma enlargement is an important predictor of neurological injury and poor clinical prognosis; but neurosurgical clot evacuation may not be feasible in all patients and treatment options remain largely supportive. Thus, novel therapeutic approaches to promote hematoma resolution are needed. In the present study, the authors investigated whether the curry spice curcumin limited neurovascular injury following ICH in mice.
Intracerebral hemorrhage was induced in adult male CD-1 mice by intracerebral administration of collagenase or autologous blood. Clinically relevant doses of curcumin (75–300 mg/kg) were administered up to 6 hours after ICH, and hematoma volume, inflammatory gene expression, blood-brain barrier permeability, and brain edema were assessed over the first 72 hours. Neurological assessments were performed to correlate neurovascular protection with functional outcomes.
Curcumin increased hematoma resolution at 72 hours post-ICH. This effect was associated with a significant reduction in the expression of the proinflammatory mediators, tumor necrosis factor–α, interleukin-6, and interleukin-1β. Curcumin also reduced disruption of the blood-brain barrier and attenuated the formation of vasogenic edema following ICH. Consistent with the reduction in neuroinflammation and neurovascular injury, curcumin significantly improved neurological outcome scores after ICH.
Curcumin promoted hematoma resolution and limited neurological injury following ICH. These data may indicate clinical utility for curcumin as an adjunct therapy to reduce brain injury and improve patient outcome.