Curcumin attenuates copper-induced oxidative stress and neurotoxicity in Drosophila melanogaster

Amos O. Abolaji, Kehinde D. Fasae, Chizim E. Iwezor, Michael Aschner, Ebenezer O. Farombi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


Curcumin is a hydrophobic polyphenol derived from the rhizome of the Herb Curcuma longa belonging to the family Zingiberaceae. Curcumin possesses antioxidative, anti-inflammatory and anti-depressant-like properties. In this study, we evaluated the rescue role of Curcumin in Copper2+-induced toxicity in D. melanogaster. Adult, wild type flies were exposed to Cu2+ (1 mM) and/or Curcumin (0.2 and 0.5 mg/kg diet) in the diet for 7 days. The results indicated that Cu2+- fed flies had reduced survival compared to the control group. Copper toxicity was also associated with a marked decrease in total thiol (T-SH), as well as catalase and glutathione S-transferase activities, contemporaneous with increased acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity, nitric oxide (nitrate and nitrite) and dopamine levels. Co-exposure of flies to Cu2+ and Curcumin prevented mortality, inhibited AChE activity and restored dopamine to normal levels (p < 0.05). Moreover, Curcumin restored eclosion rates, and the cellular antioxidant status, as well as alleviated the accumulation of nitric oxide level in the flies. Curcumin ameliorated oxidative damage in the flies as evidenced by the survival rates, longevity assay as well as the restoration of antioxidant status. Our findings thus suggest that Curcumin ameliorated Cu2+-induced neurotoxicity in D. melanogaster and as such could be considered an effective therapeutic agent in the prevention and treatment of disorders, where oxidative stress is implicated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)261-268
Number of pages8
JournalToxicology Reports
StatePublished - 2020


  • Copper
  • Curcumin
  • D. melanogaster
  • Neurotoxicity
  • Oxidative stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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