Curcumin lessens unpredictable chronic mild stress-induced depression and memory deficits by modulating oxidative stress and cholinergic activity

Document Type



Biological and Biomedical Sciences


Unpredictable chronic mild stress (UCMS) model is the most established method to study neurobiological mechanisms of depression. This work was intended to explore the efficacy of curcumin to revert the UCMS-induced oxidative burden and associated depression as well as potential of curcumin as an acetyl cholinesterase (AchE) inhibitor. Animals were initially grouped into control and curcumin (200mg/kg, p.o) and further subdivided into unstressed and stressed groups. Depression and anxiety were evaluated by forced swim test (FST) and light/dark transition (LDT) while memory function was assessed by passive avoidance test (PAT). Effect of curcumin on oxidative stress following UCMS was determined by measuring peroxidation of lipid (LPO) and antioxidant enzyme activities. AchE activity was also determined. Findings showed that curcumin supplementation significantly attenuated the UCMS-induced depression and anxiety like symptoms, decreased the load of UCMS propagated oxidative stress by improving antioxidant enzymes activities. Curcumin also improved the memory function and exhibited inhibitory effect on AchE activity. In conclusion it can be suggested that supplementation of curcumin in daily life can help in combating the stress-induced depression and ever increasing load of oxidative stress. Study also highlights the anti-acetylcholinesterase potential of curcumin which may be responsible for improved memory function following UCMS.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Pakistan journal of pharmaceutical sciences