Neurotoxicity Research

, Volume 36, Issue 1, pp 12–26 | Cite as

Effects of Curcumin on Microglial Cells

  • Faezeh Ghasemi
  • Hossein Bagheri
  • George E. Barreto
  • Morgayn I. Read
  • Amirhossein SahebkarEmail author


Microglia are innate immune system cells which reside in the central nervous system (CNS). Resting microglia regulate the homeostasis of the CNS via phagocytic activity to clear pathogens and cell debris. Sometimes, however, to protect neurons and fight invading pathogens, resting microglia transform to an activated-form, producing inflammatory mediators, such as cytokines, chemokines, iNOS/NO and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2). Excessive inflammation, however, leads to damaged neurons and neurodegenerative diseases (NDs), such as Parkinson’s disease (PD), Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Huntington’s disease (HD), multiple sclerosis (MS) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Curcumin is a phytochemical isolated from Curcuma longa. It is widely used in Asia and has many therapeutic properties, including antioxidant, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-mutagenic, anti-amyloidogenic and anti-inflammatory, especially with respect to neuroinflammation and neurological disorders (NDs). Curcumin is a pleiotropic molecule that inhibits microglia transformation, inflammatory mediators and subsequent NDs. In this mini-review, we discuss the effects of curcumin on microglia and explore the underlying mechanisms.


Curcumin Microglia, neuroinflammation Neuroprotection Neurodegenerative diseases 


Authors’ Contributions

Conceived and design: FG, HB, GEB, AEB, AS

Wrote the manuscript: HB, FG, GEB, AS, AEB

All authors have approved final manuscript and submission.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Blood Transfusion Research CenterHigh Institute for Research and Education in Transfusion MedicineTehranIran
  2. 2.Department of Biotechnology, Faculty of MedicineArak University of Medical SciencesArakIran
  3. 3.Departamento de Nutrición y Bioquímica, Facultad de CienciasPontificia Universidad JaverianaBogotáColombia
  4. 4.Instituto de Ciencias BiomédicasUniversidad Autónoma de ChileSantiagoChile
  5. 5.Department of Pharmacology, School of Medical SciencesUniversity of OtagoDunedinNew Zealand
  6. 6.Neurogenic Inflammation Research CenterMashhad University of Medical SciencesMashhadIran
  7. 7.Biotechnology Research Center, Pharmaceutical Technology InstituteMashhad University of Medical SciencesMashhadIran
  8. 8.School of PharmacyMashhad University of Medical SciencesMashhadIran
  9. 9.Department of Medical Biotechnology, School of MedicineMashhad University of Medical SciencesMashhadIran

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